Pilates small group & private sessions

Free Spirit offers traditional Pilates mat classes as well as Yoga Pilates fusion classes incorporating the use of props, rollers, balls and fitness equipment for a well rounded and unique experience.

Pilates Benefits:  Pilates is the perfect method of body conditioning for strength, flexibility, toning and shaping your body. As a result of practicing Pilates on a regular basis you will notice your posture will improve and as a result you will feel uplifted, energized and more positive.  Pilates will help you maintain a healthy lifestyle, assist with the recovery from injuries.  It will transform your self-image and sense of worth and help keep you calm and centered.

History of Pilates:  Pilates is a scientific system of mind / body conditioning that was developed by Joseph Pilates, over 90 years ago.  He was born in 1880 and was a frail child with serious health problems.  As a young man he became passionate about physical fitness as a way to transform his physical appearance and improve his health.  After years of research, study and expertise he created a complete system that combined Eastern and Western philosophies and movements, gymnastics and yoga principles and mental and physical exercises that would strengthen the body and free the mind.   During the war years Joseph designed equipment from anything readily available, his bunk, the bedsprings, a chair etc. to assist people who were not physically able to do the mat work.  (Thus the beginning of the reformer equipment.)  The evolution of the original form of Pilates has evolved over the years as a new generation of professionals have added exercises to develop different parts of the body.  Joseph Pilates work was preserved by Sean Gallagher who is a certified Pilates instructor and physical therapist.  Gallagher has incorporated and integrated Pilates into modalities of treatment that health care practitioners can provide and utilize.

Pilates Breathing:  Each movement is tied to a specific manner of breathing.  Correct breathing allows oxygen to nourish the muscles being utilized, and to release toxins and no-beneficial chemicals stored in the muscles.  The chemicals released are related to pain and fatigue and are substances that our body desperately needs to be rid of.  Not only is it necessary to take in an ample supply of oxygen but we must fully and purposefully exhale ( or wring our lungs. )

For Pilates exercises you need to retrain yourself to breathe in a new way.  When most of us breathe we expand the top of our chest, which is a shallow breath.  What we need to learn to do is breathe into our back, in the area that expands our lower ribs.  Instead of expanding the front of your chest as you inhale or puff out your tummy, you need to concentrate on filling the bottom portion of your lungs.  You will get the sensation that you are breathing into the small of your back.  This form of deep breathing allows you to bend and move without restricting the amount of oxygen you are taking in.  The oxygen intake allows nourishment to travel to the muscles being worked.  As you fully exhale, all of the unused gasses and non-beneficial chemicals stored in your body have an escape-route.  When these elements are exhaled, you will become more clear-headed, your stamina increases, you release lactic acids within your muscles that make you feel sore, and most important, you become more relaxed.

Relaxation:  One of the skills you will learn is how to work out without creating undue tension in areas of the body that are not being worked.  When people first start this work they simply work too hard.  A lot of us are used to exercising with brute strength but in Pilates the opposite is true.  You will be working a specific area of the body in each exercise and it is your task to make certain that the areas not involved are working to support the movement.  They are engaged, but not tense.  With Pilates it is the involvement of the entire body that helps to relieve tension in the body.  After you finish your routine, you should have eliminated stress significantly physically and mentally.

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