Pilates 101 – What is Pilates

There is an ongoing misconception that pilates is similar to yoga, but that actually couldn’t be further from the truth. While we won’t be busting the myth here, we will be diving deeper into what pilates really is and why it is beneficial for your body. 

What is Pilates?

Pilates was first developed by Joseph Pilates for rehabilitation purposes, hence where the term originates from. Pilates focuses on improving flexibility and strengthening the core muscles of the body, through controlled movements. Pilates also focuses on the mind-body connection, creating greater self awareness and conscious breathing. By holistically enhancing mental and physical health, general fitness and overall wellbeing will improve. 

Originally, there are six principles behind pilates. Concentration, control, center, flow, precision and breathing. These qualities are embodied in every pilates technique and movement. Through this conscious practice, the core muscles are utilised in every way, thus appearing long and lean. Unlike other forms of exercise, the movements in pilates do not include a lot of repetition. Instead, the focus is on the breathing in each movement – with grace and precision. 


Pilates ensues a lot of equipment in the exercises, though it is not limited to. For beginners, at UrbanElite Pilates, we typically start off with an easier set of exercises initially, before moving onto more advanced equipment. A popular, and crucial pilates apparatus is the reformer, which is a bed-like sliding platform with a foot bar, carriage, pulleys, ropes and springs, all with varying and adjustable resistance. 

However, if you’re just starting out pilates, don’t be alarmed by the range of equipment in our studio, nor how intimidating these equipment may look. Our certified instructors are extremely knowledgeable and will guide you through every step of the way as you embark on your pilates journey. 

What does it do for my body? 

There are so many benefits to pilates. Aside from toning the muscles, strengthening the core and improving flexibility, pilates also improves posture and mobility. There is good reason why many physiotherapists engage in pilates for their patients. However, everyone can benefit from pilates. Something as simple as improved posture can have a significant impact on your daily life. So imagine the benefits you’ll reap by practicing pilates. 

In addition, pilates promotes a healthy mental state. As breathing plays a large part in our exercises, controlled breathing helps to alleviate stress and anxiety. Pilates not only improves your overall balance through correct posture but also restores your mind-body balance. 

As UrbanElite Pilates, we focus on one of three aspects of fitness goals – performance training, rehabilitation training and functional training. 

Who is it for ? 

Pilates caters to everyone and is not limited to any age. As pilates techniques are adjustable to individual sizes and needs, it can be made accessible to almost anyone. Whether you’re a beginner or advanced, at UrbanElite Pilates, we will help you achieve your fitness goals through form, function, and grace. 

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