Pilates for Women's Health - Part 1
Many of us know that or have heard that Pilates Exercise are great for everyone despite gender, occupation and age group.
So why is it especially good for women?
I begin my Pilates quest in my early 20s after spending most of my teenage-hood on hiking & camping, working out at the gym, practicing yoga and Karate. To be fit and to keep a good figure wasn’t my initial goal when I first started Pilates. Back in 2005, I was suffering from chronic lower back pain derived from poor sitting habits when I was a child, and over-recruiting my body during Karate practice causing muscular imbalances and misalignment. In addition to the several injuries from martial arts and other activities I did, it wasn't a surprise that I need an activity that could fix me up, so I can stay active and dance. Learning Pilates was a rehabilitation project for me to learn about correct movements, unlearn my old movement habits, realign and gain control physically. Going to Pilates classes more than 3 times a week and receiving osteopathy treatments once a week at the time was my perfect cure.
Now that I'm in my thirties, a child-bearing age, maintaining an optimal health status with physical and emotional balance is ultimately important and at my top priority. Not only it keeps my core in a good shape which protects me against injuries from other sports activity that I love, such as dancing and rock climbing. I would also be ready to take on the challenge in dealing with all the physiological changes from pregnancy and the years after.
A grateful thing happened to me is that my family started learning Pilates too since last year. They experienced how Pilates strengthen their aging body, raise their energy level, enliven their mind and being ache-free throughout the day. In fact, Pilates has a lot more benefits to offer besides helping people with physical ailment to regain control of their body and develop good movement patterns. For instance, it is beneficial for teenagers, athletes, office worker, non-office worker, pre- and post-pregnancy, elderly, etc. Pilates helps learners to understand their body, develop good proprioception, recruit their powerhouse, correct imbalances, develop core strength and in return find mental balance for a healthy body mentally and physically.
I am thankful to my Pilates instructor, who was trained by Body Control Pilates, an organization that focuses on educating precisions in movement besides strengthening the physical body while developing flow and strength. Over the past 10+ years, Pilates helped me develop a deep mind-body connection because of my Pilates. It is to me a moving meditation which requires me to be 100% focus on my breath, my movements, my physical feeling, and hence achieve a flow state and emotional calmness. I am thankful for being shown what Pilates truly is and hence determined to share my knowledge with everyone who wants to learn Pilates and hope that they will find their balanced mind and balanced body as well at different stage of life.
Stay tune to find more on “Why is Pilates good for every woman?” in Pilates for Women's Health - Part 2
- Karen Leung, Head of Pilates, Mindful Pilates in Central Hong Kong