If your interested in knowing more about pilates in spain then this article should help to fill in some of the blanks. The truth is you can perform pilates no matter were you are. You dont have to be in spain to learn pilates. There is how ever a spanish form of pilates which will also be revealed in this article.
A healthier lifestyle is a major motivator for people looking to relocate to Spain. We envisage ourselves eating fresh fruit and vegetables, living in a climate which enables an active lifestyle. However, the reality is if we are not careful our walk along the beach has been replaced by a sit down on the beach and our old chocolate addiction has been substituted with churros and Spanish cakes. Before long we are the stiff, old, slouchy couch potatoes that we thought we had left behind in our home countries. It is at this point that you need to think about doing some form of exercise.
What is Pilates?
One of the most increasingly popular forms of exercise at the moment is Pilates. Pilates is a series of slow controlled movements. It is suitable for all ages and levels of fitness. During a Pilates class you will be encouraged to exercise at your own pace and within the limits of any restricted mobility, arthritic joints, back problems as the movements can be modified accordingly. On the other hand, those fitter or younger members of a class will be able to do the exercise at a higher intensity. There is always something for everyone.
Origins of Pilates?
The Pilates method was developed by Joseph Pilates in the1920's. As a child he suffered ill health and to become stronger, he took up bodybuilding, was a gymnast and a circus performer. He was German but living in Britain and during the First World War, because of his nationality, he was made a prisoner of war. During this time he became a nurse, rehabilitating his fellow prisoners of war, using a method, which was to become known worldwide, as "Pilates". There was a flu epidemic which killed many, but none of those whom Joseph Pilates trained died and this was noted. After the war he moved to New York where he set up his first studio, which was frequented by dancers and actors. Since then, the technique has progressed and become one of the most popular exercise techniques in the world.
Where can I find an instructor for Pilates in Spain?
In the UK it is very straightforward, you go to your local gym and enroll on a class. However, as an expat in Spain it is sometimes difficult to know what is on offer. Usually the gymnasiums offer mat work classes, or there are specialist Pilates studios which are mainly machine based. Most classes will be advertised using the usual methods, the internet, newspapers, magazines or leaflets. If you keep your eyes open you will be bound to find somewhere.
You must check that your instructor is fully qualified. Don't be shy ask to see their qualifications, I am always delighted to show mine when I am asked and so will any other qualified instructors. After all, we work hard to gain and retain these qualifications so we are very proud of them! Before teaching Pilates in Marbella, I worked for the large leisure groups such as David Lloyd, Virgin Active and Moat House Hotels, all providing excellent experience. I have taught both very large and very small classes, with people of different fitness levels and ages in the same class. In addition to this, I have taught some clients on a "one to one" basis who have had very severe injuries and back problems. In all these cases I have always spoken to their physiotherapist or medical adviser beforehand, to obtain information as to what movements are beneficial or detrimental to the client. I have also had the pleasure of seeing a physiotherapist improve her own posture dramatically, after a series "one to one" sessions with me. I always welcome working with a fellow professional as both parties learn from each other.
What will Pilates do for you?
Pilates classes will improve your posture and provide you with tips on how to apply the technique to your day-to-day life when standing, sitting, walking and driving. Your flexibility will improve and likewise the mobility of the joints and spine. It will increase muscle strength and hence increases bone density, which in turn, helps to prevent osteoporosis. The added bonus is toning of the body and flatter tummies! The one thing it will not do is help you to lose weight. To do this you need to undertake some form of cardiovascular exercise, such as brisk walking, fast swimming, aqua aerobics, cycling, running etc.
Where injuries or joint problems are severe, it may be better to attend a "one to one" session, the exercises will be specifically adapted and chosen, considering you as an individual and how best to help you. The Chartered Society of Physiotherapists in Great Britain has recognised the importance of the role of Pilates techniques in alleviating some back problems, joint problems and for post surgery rehabilitation. As an instructor, I have often worked alongside a physiotherapist to compliment their work and have seen some excellent results for the patient.
Mat work versus Machines?
There are two ways to practice Pilates, either floor based exercises, or Pilates machines such as The Reformer, The Cadillac and Wunda Chair. I am often asked which is best, or more often, I hear people say, "Machines are best as you can work harder". This is not true, both methods can be equally as challenging, Joseph Pilates used both! Your choice will often depend on availability in your area and what you want to pay.
What does Pilates cost in Spain?
For a mat work class, most instructors will charge between 10 and 15 euros per class. For a machine based class this is usually more expensive than a mat work class and will be offered either as a group or "one to one" class. If you need physiotherapy treatment, it is likely that you would be recommended to take a "one to one" Pilates session, which averages 50 euros per hour, sometimes a discount is offered for an advance booking of say 5 or 10 sessions.
So where do you go from here?
My advice to everyone is, remember that your body is designed to move. Your joints and spine need regular movement. Without movement things start going wrong and hurting! Pilates will teach you skills to use in your day to day life, you will be stronger, more mobile and flexible, your body will perform your day to day tasks more efficiently and you will feel better. Remember, "prevention is better than cure", but if you already need a bit of help, then maybe Pilates classes can help you.