What is Pilates?

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When I ask new clients what their understanding of Pilates is, they will usually respond, “to strengthen the core.” They are correct but Pilates is more than that. If you look up Pilates this is what you’ll find.


“A system of exercises using special apparatus, designed to improve physical strength, flexibility, and posture, and enhance mental awareness”

Pilates brings the mind and body together. It focuses on core strength and muscular imbalances. When these are addressed the skeletal system is corrected, which leads to better posture and more efficient breathing. Pilates works the body dynamically using eccentric and concentric movements. It utilizes the smaller, weaker muscles, which help to balance the muscles and heal chronic back pain.

The breathing helps you to concentration so that form and exercises are both correct. When movements are performed with Pilates breathing lung capacity is enhanced. It helps shallow breathers learn to breathe properly, increasing stamina. Quality is more important in Pilates, which is why no more than ten repetitions are usually performed. When movements are performed well, there is no need to repeat many times.

Pilates is suitable for everyone and every age group. Many people use it on completing their physical therapy and after their injuries have healed.

“In 10 sessions you will feel the difference, in 20 sessions you will see the difference and in 30 you will have a new body.”-Joseph Pilates. This means that a person would need to do Pilates 3 to 4 times a week, not every week for 30 weeks. Pilates can be taken with an instructor, in a class or at home which makes reaching goals more realistic.

Why is a strong core important?

The core is made up of so many different muscle groups that affect how our bodies move daily. We walk, bend forwards and sideways, rotate, sit and need balance. These are human basic and functional movements and part of the reason why Pilates was even created! When these groups are weak and not exercised properly this can cause major issues for us as we grow older and contribute to pain.

Pilates is expensive, they offer it at my gym, and so why do private sessions?”

If you are going to take Pilates regularly it would be a great investment to spend some money on a few private sessions. This will teach you to know your own body, focus on your goals, and learn the basics so that you can participate in any class. If you have health issues you will learn modifications so that you don’t injure yourself. You’ll get into a routine of showing up, you’ll work hard and feel the difference.

If you invest in yourself you will reduce costs of hospital and Dr.’s visits in the future.

“If, at the age of 30, you are stiff and out of shape, you are old. If, at 60, you are supple and strong, then you are young.” Joseph Pilates


“Pilates isn’t about brute strength but about utilizing all the muscles in the same way that a smaller boxer can beat a larger one by using intelligent tactics rather than one heavy punch.” Joseph Pilates.
Joseph Pilates designed the Pilates exercises with the intention they would touch every aspect of a person’s life. The exercises were designed to bring about awareness in everyday life from physically moving to personal relationships. He had the idea that practicing Pilates using the mind body connection would eliminate the body of diseases and social ills.

My studio is for private sessions and by advance appointment. If you are interested in taking private Pilates sessions in Cypress please contact me: Katharine Barber: 832 867 1059 or email me: kb@westendhoustonpilates.com