Pilates types and styles – Differences and Similarities
Pilates is a well-known form of exercise by both women and men all over the world. At LiveYoga in Amsterdam Oost we recognise the many benefits of Pilates in supporting the body (as well as our yoga practice). Some of these benefits are increased strength, balance, core stability, flexibility and improved body awareness. As a by-product practitioners get to shape their body to be both functional and graceful (as many celebrities testify). One reason for its popularity is that it suits a wide range of people from dancers to athletes, from pregnant women to seniors and even people who suffer from or are recovering from injuries.
Just like in Yoga, various styles of Pilates have evolved over the years with many similarities as well as unique differences. In our school in Amsterdam Oost we offer three of these styles by our three super talented Pilates teachers.
This type of contemporary Pilates is specialising in physical therapy and rehabilitation. It is wonderful for people who suffer from various injuries (who doesn’t) and would like to restore full functionality of their body. It can greatly help everyone to gain more control over their bodies. Developed approximately 100 years ago by Joseph and Clara Pilates, Polestar involves enable precise movements that stretch and lengthen the muscles and strengthen the body’s core. It is believed to be very effective in quieting and focusing the mind.
Classical Pilates (Smart Body)
The essence of this more classical form of Pilates is its focus on postural muscles of the body and building strength from the inside out. In this form Pilates brings the body into correct alignment and re-educates it about more efficient movement patterns. Furthermore, classical Pilates emphasises lengthening the body in movement with attention to alignment with fewer repetitions, so that muscles become long and lean, rather than short and big.
This is a contemporary form of Pilates that is slightly different from the traditional form in that it is designed to support and restore the spine’s natural curvature. Stott Pilates is focused on alignment and ‘placement’ of various parts of our body such as the shoulder blade (upper back) and cervical spine (neck), as well as pelvis, ribs (breathing), and head.
What style of Pilates is right for me?
We don’t believe in choosing one form over another but in learning to enjoy the beauty of each form and find the right balance that suits you at any moment of life. We encourage you to come and try all types offered in our studio in Amsterdam Oost and begin your own journey with Pilates. Our teachers are all aware of the various methods and also drop in sometimes in other classes to enjoy a fresh and different approach. See you!