What is Pilates?
Pilates is a system of mind-body exercise that develops both muscular mobility and strength.
Pilates teaches fundamentals of effective breathing and postural alignment. These are simple yet powerful tools that you can immediately apply in daily life.
Benefits of Pilates
After a Pilates session, many clients say they feel taller, stronger, more centered, and more aware of their bodies. Other benefits clients report include:
- Decreased stress
- Better posture
- Improved athletic performance
- Increased mobility
- Increased flexibility (PS: You do not have to be flexible to start — flexibility is a benefit of Pilates, not a prerequisite!)
- Greater ease and joy moving through daily activities
What’s different about Fletcher Pilates?
Ron Fletcher (1921-2011) was a student of Joseph and Clara Pilates. He also was a choreographer and a dancer for the modern dance pioneer Martha Graham.
Fletcher Pilates pairs movement with structured breathing patterns—a concept we sometimes call “Percussive Breathing.” These patterns inspire and inform every piece of movement, whether we’re working on the equipment or elsewhere. Breath work has a whole host of benefits. These include delivering more oxygen to the 70 trillion cells in your body, from your brain down to your toenails.
Fletcher Pilates builds on the original Pilates mat and equipment work, adding movement done standing on the floor and at the ballet barre. Much of the standing work is done during Fletcher Towelwork, which uses a specially braided towel stretched between the hands to help build a stable, poised shoulder girdle. Towelwork and Barrework always feel great after a long day of sitting hunched in front of the computer.
Ron Fletcher believed that movement “should be approached like life—with enthusiasm, joy, and gratitude.” This is the element that has always drawn me back to Fletcher Pilates over the years. It’s just plain fun. The Fletcher work—especially the Fletcher Floorwork—creates beautiful, dynamic movements through space. Some of it almost feels like a dance, although you SO don’t have to be a dancer to do it—I’m definitely not!
Check out YouTube here and here for videos of some Fletcher dynamic movement. There’s lots more where that come from on the Fletcher Pilates YouTube page.
And here’s a fun and informative animated history of Pilates.