“They learn how to arrange their posture for health,” Roberts said.
Over the course of her physical therapy practice, Roberts saw people just coming out of therapy head into the gym, only to suffer additional injuries.
Pilates can help build strength and flexibility through making the muscles long and lean. Good posture is essential to avoiding injury and chronic pain, whether the problems stem from sitting at a desk or practicing a favorite sport.
“Every client needs to address posture,” Roberts said.
For some people, Pilates provides a gentle place to start exercising for the first time, even at an advanced age. Pilates Fitness Center has clients ranging from age 14 to 85.
Jackson said enhancing fitness changes people’s lives for the better. After about six sessions, she said she often hears the same refrain from clients: “This is an exercise I can do for the rest of my life.”
Jackson and Roberts said Pilates is about engaging mind, body and spirit and bringing “mindful awareness to how we move.”
“The Pilates method was created to bring balance to the body,” Jackson said.
The emphasis is on core strength, not just in the abdominals, but through the entire trunk and hips.
“The technique, in terms of how to engage these deep, stabilizing muscles, is critical to doing this work properly,” Jackson said.
That’s why new clients are encouraged to start with a session or two of private instruction. The group classes are small with a lot of hands-on instruction and guidance from certified teachers.
Special populations get help with problem areas and rehab such as scoliosis, joint replacement, neurological issues and/or paralysis or spasticity, osteoporosis, spinal disorders or pregnancy.
In addition to special classes for golfers, there is a Pilates class for men.
“We like to think of sharing Pilates to encourage intelligent movement so that clients become more aware of their bodies to prevent injury and to be fully capable of living life with vigor and zest,” Jackson said.