I get asked this question all the time! Pilates is not just stretching and no it is not easy or for the faint hearted. It takes courage to try something new and be open-minded to a different philosophy of movement.
Pilates is a form of mind-body exercise aimed at bringing the body back into balance. It focuses on developing a strong core – the central area of your body which is home to a complex set of muscles that affect practically every movement made by the human body. Through an amalgamation of breathing techniques, correct spinal alignment, and concentration on controlling movements from the core, Pilates’ practitioners build strength and learn to move the body in a smooth, safe way, enhancing posture, body performance, injury recovery and overall health.
Some people claim Pilates is comparable to yoga. In many ways it is. They both use a mat, and some of the positions may feel similar. Additionally, building an awareness of the body-mind connection is important in each discipline.
However, yoga, which has evolved over 5,000 years, includes an added emphasis on spirituality, particularly through meditative practice, whereas Pilates primary focus remains on strengthening the mind/body connection from the centre outwards.