Pilates adds to work-out choices

It is more expensive than yoga and gymming, but many fitness enthusiasts are giving it a try
Last Updated 22 September 2019, 11:14 IST

Bengalureans love to stay fit, whether it is by eating healthy or sweating it out.

With many pilates studios mushrooming, a new movement art is making its mark and adding to the city’s work-out options.

Popular across groups

Pilates is an injury-free practice, and people from various age groups take it up without hesitation.

“We have people from nine to 70 coming in for pilates,” says Kavita Prakash, founder of ‘Pilates for Wellbeing’ in Bengaluru.

People should understand it is a conditioning programme unlike other movement practices, she says.

“It is important for them to apply their minds to the lessons as they are learning to become aware of their body, which means they carry the practice out of the studio and into their daily life,” she says.

The many benefits

If practised with a professional trainer, pilates brings a number of benefits.

It is all about mind and body coordination, and helps in the holistic development of an individual, practitioners say.

It increases breathing capacity, corrects the muscular imbalance and improves posture and flexibility. In some cases, it also reduces pain and alleviates chronic conditions like lower back pain and knee pain, says Kavita.

“It promotes neuromuscular patterns in a human body making it aware of what a person is doing. It plays a huge role in strengthening core muscles, consisting of the abdomen, lower back, and hips,” she explains.

But these benefits don’t come cheap (see box). Pilates instructors go through a minimum of one year of training. And getting international certification is expensive.

Moreover, the equipment used for pilates is not easily available in India and is imported, studios say.

Individual attention is important for a person to understand the correct movements and become aware of the body, and that is where an instructor plays a vital role.

Bengalureans are open to trying out new workouts, and this is a new alternative that is as effective as yoga, observes Sheena J Hinduja, owner, ‘The Pilates Studio’, Cunningham Road.

Today, the crowd has become more inquisitive than in 2017, when the studio was launched in the city.

“There is definitely a rise in footfalls and inquiries,” she says. From school students to professionals and even the elderly, this fitness practice is being welcomed by all.

“We only encourage those who are at least 16 years old, the reason being that one needs to be of a certain height to be on the reformer (machine),” Sheena says.

The origin

The movement practice was developed in 1920 by Joseph Pilates from Germany. He had then called it ‘Contrology’, and was created to rehabilitate prisoners of war. However, over the years, different versions of this came up to cater to a wider community and the system was renamed Pilates.

Breath, control, concentration, centering, precision and flow are the six principles introduced by Joseph Pilates; and they are followed to this day.

Where to learn

Pilates for Well Being, Indiranagar

The Zone Mind and Body Studio, Koramangala

The Pilates Studio by Namrata Purohit, Cunningham Road and Indiranagar

Keep in mind

Pilates is not recommended to do at home because it’s highly posture and alignment-based. An instructor must be spotting and guiding one through the repertoire (to prevent injuries).

One needs to work on the reformer to reap the full benefit of pilates. Thus, it is important to work out at a studio.

Similar to yoga?

Both are low-intensity movement practices and work towards a holistic development of body, mind and soul. However, apart from this, experts don’t see any other similarities.

Wallet factor

A group pilates lesson cost Rs 6,000 to Rs 10,000 a month. An individual session costs between Rs 1,600 to Rs 2,500 an hour. Group lessons can range from Rs 650 to Rs 850 per session, as classes are usually small in size with not more than five people, says a studio owner. Typically, one needs two to three classes a week.

(Published 22 September 2019, 11:14 IST)

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