Who can practice and benefit from Pilates.......... EVERYONE!

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Pilates (pronounced Pil-ah-tes) is a method of body conditioning which is totally unlike any other form of exercise regime. It is safe and effective and can be adapted for everyone no what matter age or physical condition, from first time exerciser, chronic back pain sufferer, or competitive athlete at the peak of physical fitness. It was developed almost a century ago in Germany by Joseph Pilates. A man of great vision, ahead of his time Joseph Pilates understood the body intuitively, and his method has now been validated by modern science. Pilates opened his studio in New York in the 1920s and it remained almost exclusively the preserve of screen legends such as Gregory Peck and Katherine Hepburn, dancers, and the rich and famous. It was a well kept secret and was virtually unknown to the general public until the 1990s.  Julia Roberts, Penelope Cruz, Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow are among the impressive list of devotees. Sports people include tennis star Pat Cash and World Champion Ice Skater Kristi Yamaguchi.

Discover more of the History of Pilates

Why is Pilates so Effective?

The method is so effective because it works every part of the body and not just isolated muscles. Pilates targets the deep postural muscles, building strength from the inside out. Other fitness methods focus on the superficial muscles of the body while ignoring these all important deeper postural muscles. Every Pilates exercise uses the 'the powerhouse' the large powerful group of muscles at the very centre of the body which move and stabilise the trunk and pelvis, which results in a flatter stomach, trimmer waist, firmer buttocks and thighs. The spine takes precedence in Pilates and students learn how to roll the spine with correct breathing creating a more flexible spine. In addition, it improves breathing, posture, balance, coordination and sense of confidence in your body. By learning how to align the body correctly you are able to target the right muscles which become beautifully toned and not bulky. The result is a more aesthetic body, which is leaner, longer, more supple and strong.

Pilates for the over 50s

The benefits from practising Pilates for the over 50s are endless and it is one of the greatest tools for keeping ageing bodies 'ageless.'! Here are just a few of the benefits which are especially valuable to this age group. Conditions such as osteoarthritis are associated with wear and tear of the joint structure.  By keeping keeping joints mobile and strengthening the muscles that support them Pilates exercises will help to keep the joint healthy. By learning how to stabilise the spine using the deep core muscles the end result can be the elimination of back pain and reduction of back injuries. Pilates exercises are performed with awareness and control and are therefore suitable for people already suffering from these conditions. With your Doctor's consent Pilates can be practised by those recovering from injury or operations. In short, Pilates re-educates us on how our bodies should move correctly, without pain or stiffness and with natural ease - much like we did when we were children before our lifestyles and bad habits corrupted us!

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" At last Pilates in the Dordogne!....it was worth waiting for as I am truly enchanted with the classes."

Chantal Levraut, Plazac


" Cheryl's class is brilliant, it really makes you think about your posture and your general health and well being. I've learnt so much that I'd love to do more classes each week. I've also discovered muscles which have been long dormant so I know the classes are doing a great job!" 

Amanda Rothwell. Périgueux


" Pilates has become the antidote to my busy life. The calm and concentrated atmosphere of the class and the lovely relaxation at the end is just what I need!! It really is mind body training."

Philippa Ward, Montignac