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Find Pilates studios or gyms, and health clubs with Pilates classes and equipment.
For the best hands-on instruction and Pilates equipment, look for a Pilates studio in your area. Check what type of Pilates is offered at the studio. Also, check and see if your local yoga studio offers Pilates technique classes.
Gyms and health clubs offer great Pilates instruction. Some gyms are equipped with Pilates machines. Check to make sure your instructor has valid certification for the optimal training experience.
Many clothing retail stores sell Pilates, yoga, and aerobic clothing and equipment. Sporting goods stores carry great lines of Pilates or yoga clothing, mats, straps, and Pilates circles.
1129 Gaskins Road, Ste. 107Richmond, VA 23238
6200 Little River TurnpikeAlexandria, VA 22312
Pilates was created by Joseph Pilates who, after living through the devastation of WWII, developed a series exercises to heal the bodies and minds of wounded soldiers. Much of his philosophy and many of his poses were influenced by yoga. Eventually his exercises were popularized by the dance and performing arts communities who sought fast and intelligent rehabilitation from injury. Pilates focuses on strengthen the core muscles of the body in order to gain greater balance, alignment and proper support for the spine. Pilates Studios also utilize two distinct machines made up of pulleys, straps, cables and bars that regulate tension and add resistance, the Reformer and the Cadillac. Pilates students must first be taught by trained Pilates instructors before using the machines. There is also a series of exercises done independent of the machines which are practiced in group classes on a mat.
A good way to decide whether to take yoga or Pilates is to figure out what you are looking for in a workout. Both techniques offer a combination of mind and body exercises. Yoga adds spirituality to the mind/body equation, while Pilates offers a layer of repetitive strengthening and toning. In yoga classes, there will be some form of meditation, usually at the end of class in a restful position to transition from your yoga practice back to your 'regular' day. Both Pilates and Yoga studios offer group classes. Pilates studios offer more one on one training and also have equipment that is integral to most Pilates programs. Begin your exploration of yoga or Pilates by signing up for classes at a nearby studio or gym. Many studios offer free or discounted classes for new students. Neither exercise form can be learned in its entirety by taking just a few classes or by buying one DVD. In order to become a Pilates or Yoga instructor, individuals undergo lengthy training and intense testing. It is valuable to have knowledgeable instruction and hands-on guidance to properly gain all the benefits and to avoid unnecessary injury.
Pilates is a great low impact way to tone and strengthen the body. Whether you're an injured athlete, a professional dancer, or someone looking to just start exercising, Pilates is a great way to get in shape and stay injury free. In Pilates classes, there are no age limits, weight requirements or level of physical experience needed to participate. Some benefits of Pilates include increased body awareness, a stronger core with the intention of creating better balance and supporting the back, stronger muscles without increase bulk, and an evenly conditioned body. Before you commit to classes at a Pilates studio, contact your doctor to be sure it is an appropriate type of exercise for you.
There is a lot of Pilates equipment on the market that can be purchased at athletic stores or online. However, before buying any equipment, you should take classes at a Pilates studio that has the piece you're considering buying in order to try it. Also, consult with an instructor so that you don't buy unnecessary equipment. The most basic piece of Pilates equipment is a mat. Pilates mats should be thicker than a yoga mat. Another basic tool is a Pilates Magic Circle or exercise circle and is made of flexible metal or rubber of about 13" in diameter with cushioning pads on either side. Pilates magic circles are used for moderate resistance. Two pieces of large Pilates equipment include the Pilates Reformer and the Pilates Cadillac. Both machines are designed to provide precise resistance to help develop better alignment, core strength and flexibility. The Pilates Reformer is a low horizontal table with a gliding platform and a system of springs, straps and pulleys. The Pilates Cadillac is a horizontal table with a four poster frame to which straps, bars and springs are attached. You can perform more than 100 exercises on either machine. These machines are costly and are only necessary for Pilates instructors, serious Pilates practitioners or Pilates studio owners.
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