The Pilates Method
The Pilates Method™ is a system of physical fitness and rehabilitation that focuses on strengthening the core muscles of the trunk, shoulder blades, and pelvis, properly aligning and decompressing the spine. The intention is to balance flexibility with muscle tone throughout the body and restore control of movement. Developed by Joseph H. Pilates in the early 20th century, Pilates consists of a series of exercises performed on specialized equipment and floor mats.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How does it work?
It’s all about balance. Movement within the body is initiated and supported by deep internal muscles known as stabilizers. When these muscles are injured or out of balance, weaknesses are created that can result in poor movement patterns, decreased range of motion, and chronic injuries. Each Pilates exercise combines precise, controlled physical movements, breathing, and accurate placement of attention. When practiced regularly, Pilates exercises strengthen the stabilizers, resulting in maximum stability, increased range of motion, improved balance, enhanced function and restored confidence and control of the body.
What is its origin?
Joseph Hubertus Pilates was born in Monchengladbach Germany in 1883. As a child, Joe had asthma and other ailments. He turned to exercise and athletics to battle these ailments and was always studying various exercise regimens to expand his knowledge base. He became enamored by the classical Greek ideal of a man balanced in body, mind, and spirit, and he began to develop his own exercise system based on this concept.
Growing into adulthood, Joe was no longer the sickly child he had once been as he became an avid skier, diver, gymnast, and boxer. In 1912 Joe went to England, where he worked as a self-defense instructor for detectives at Scotland Yard. At the outbreak of World War I, Joe was interned as an “enemy alien” with other German nationals. During his internment, Joe refined his ideas and trained other internees in his system of exercise. He rigged springs to hospital beds, enabling bedridden patients to exercise against resistance, an innovation that led to his later equipment designs. An influenza epidemic struck England in 1918, killing thousands of people, but not a single one of Joe’s trainees died. This, he claimed, testified to the effectiveness of his system.
After his release, Joe returned to Germany. His exercise method gained favor in the dance community, primarily through Rudolf von Laban, who created the form of dance notation most widely used today. Hanya Holm adopted many of Joe’s exercises for her modern dance curriculum, and they are still part of the “Holm Technique.” When German officials asked Joe to teach his fitness system to the army, he decided to leave Germany for good.
Who are your instructors?
Our instructors are certified by Polestar Pilates and Body Arts and Science (BASI) Pilates. They are have extensive experience teaching Pilates in individual, group, and rehabilitative settings.
Pilates exercises and principles are often used by our therapists as part of physical therapy treatment. All Pilates movements are precise, controlled, and closely coordinated with the breath. They integrate movement of the arms and legs with the core, or “trunk,” of the body. For these reasons, the Pilates exercises are a great way to improve the body-mind connection. The rehabilitation exercises are designed to:
- Restore confidence and control of movement
- Stabilize the spine
- Eliminate excessive muscle effort
- Elongate and decompress the spine
- Improve posture, coordination, and balance
In addition, Pilates will:
- Build longer/leaner muscles
- Help prevent injury
- Balance strength and flexibility
- Offer no-impact movements
- Improve performance in sports
- Reduce repetitive strain
- Decrease pain in the spine
We offer weekly group Pilates classes!
Group classes not your thing?
One-on-One Pilates sessions with a certified and highly-experienced instructor also available!
Call us to learn more or book a session:
I am stronger, fitter, more aware of my body...
“The six months of Pilates I have done has been more help to me than three years of previous physical therapy. I am stronger, fitter, more aware of my body and how it moves in space, and more willing to keep up a program at home. The staff is skilled, highly knowledgeable, personable, and motivating. Pilates is a program I will use for the rest of my life.”
— Laurel DeTar
Pilates has taught me to carry myself in a completely new way...
“I really can’t say enough about the long lasting effects that the Pilates classes have had for me. I have had a number of back injuries, including cervical disk protrusion and a fractured thoracic spine, and have had quite a bit of on-and-off chronic pain due to multiple injuries. Pilates has taught me to carry myself in a completely new way, using my abdominal musculature to decrease the stress on my low back and on my neck as well. I love the way my body feels with my new posture and notice that it has even improved my equestrian sports, including jumping horses. I look forward to my next Pilates class and in the meantime will continue to enjoy the long lasting results for myself and continue to refer my patients to you. Thank you so much for this wonderful new knowledge.”
— Linda Foshagen, D.O
Stillpoint Pilates is the best!
“There’s just no way around it; Stillpoint Pilates is the best! I learned about the Pilates exercises from my equestrian background. Core stability is essential to good riding, especially in dressage. Having been exposed to some of the exercises in a series of classes in Penn Valley, I hooked up with Stillpoint to broaden my scope. I was amazed at the difference! Because their instructors are licensed physical therapists, they can adjust the exercises to deal with all my physical shortcomings. Not only has my riding improved, but I’m also sure the muscle toning I’ve acquired has “saved my neck” on several occasions when I’ve taken a misstep.”
— Betsy Wobus, M.D.