Pilates is all the rage this year, and I think everyone can see why considering celebrities like Ashley Graham, Hailey Bieber, and Lori Harvey are singing its praises. But what is Pilates and why is it the choice workout of the world’s most beautiful women? Where did it come from? Let’s talk about it.
Pilates, as we have come to know it, was started by Joseph Pilates, who in the 1920s worked as a physical therapist during the first World War. He developed the Pilates method as a way to gently rehabilitate injuries, specifically lower back and leg related injuries. He used bed springs to apply resistance and develop what would eventually become known as the reformer.
The reason Pilates is so effective is because it’s focused on feeling good. Unlike other workouts that are intended to push us to our limits and leave us exhausted, Pilates is focused on small, simple movements that strengthen the core and protect the body, rather than degrading it. There’s a huge emphasis placed on breath work and body posture, which makes this workout a sort of meditative check in for me.
The reason it has become my favorite way to move lately is because it has allowed me to fall back in love with movement. After years of working out as a punishment or in pursuit of some unrealistic goal, it feels really therapeutic to do a workout that is all about how to feel better. Make no mistake though, it’s incredibly challenging. The movements are KILLER, but it feels so good to notice when I am getting stronger each week, and find that the same maneuvers that were really hard for me in the beginning are the ones I now flow through with (some) ease. I also love the class camaraderie – being surrounded by young women, new moms, grandmothers, all there to feel good about ourselves, reinforces the community of incredible women that I have in my life.
I have loved reformer and mat Pilates, but when I travel I try to do a couple of Tasha Franken’s Youtube videos. She does lots of lovely 7-10 minute quick workouts that will get your blood pumping without throwing a wrench in your travel days.
If you’re looking for a way to strengthen your core, improve your mood, and fall back in love with your body, I highly recommend Pilates. Start in a studio or in your room on Youtube, and notice how your body feels after a few weeks! You won’t regret it! <3