Yes but no but yes but no but....
We all know why Pilates is good for the physical body and that yes it...
1. helps to reduce lower back ache
2. strengthens the core
3. Lengthens muscles
4. improves flexibility
5. aids recovery from surgery
6. increases mobility
7.. etc etc etc the list is seriously endless.
BUT one thing rarely discussed is what are the HEALTH benefits of Pilates?
Imagine (or some people don't need to imagine) that you have chronic back ache and you've had this ache for years. Someone recommends Pilates and within a few weeks you start to notice small little improvements. Nothing major. Maybe it's that when you wake up you can actually get of bed without stiffness in you lower back, or maybe it's that your back doesn't ache so much while you're driving. What do you think this small improvement / reduction in pain does for the human spirit???
If you've even been in long term pain you'll understand what that relief does for you mentally and emotionally.
Pilates is NOT just about the body it's about mental well-being too. When I had PTSD last year it was the one thing that gave me an escape and space to just be. It gave me something else to focus on and I sincerely believe that Pilates helped me get through the illness.
Another HEALTH benefit is oxygenating the system. It encourages proper breathing instead of half filled lungs of stale air. Suffer stress? Sit back for two minutes and just breath fully and completely, slowly and steadily and make sure you are exhaling to your max. It helps to lower the heart rate, get fresh oxygen into all your muscles and organs and just calms your mind.
It also releases tension and stress. I've often had someone come to class in a flap and I could tell they've had the day from hell and lucky they even turned up for class. After class it's like seeing a different person and even they notice it. It's change their frame of mind and reduced their flappiness (another of my technical terms). It forces you to slow down and focus your mind on YOU, not you millions of other chores.
Again, I could go on forever! But I'm sure you catch the drift. The benefits of Pilates both Physical and Mental are endless. I always hope that with each of my Pilates sessions someone always walks away feeling like "I freaking love Pilates!" or is that just me?