"Pilates is the complete coordination of mind body and spirit"

Luton based ACS MAGFA offers Pilates classes at it's Taylor Street venue. These classes are run by an independant pilates instructor who has a wealth of experience teaching Pilates in Luton.

So, what is pilates?

Pilates is an exercise system that focuses on stretching and strengthening the whole body to improve balance, muscle-strength, flexibility and posture.

Pilates was created by Joseph Pilates, the son of a prize-winning gymnast and naturopath mother. In his youth, he practiced many of the physical training regimes available to him in his native Germany including yoga and developed a system of exercise which focused on strengthening the human mind and body, believing that the two were intertwined.

Pilates demands intense focus: "You have to concentrate on what you're doing all the time. And you must concentrate on your entire body for smooth movements." -  the way that Pilates exercises are done is more important than the exercises themselves.

Pilates aims for elegant sufficiency of movement, creating flow through the use of appropriate transitions. Once precision has been achieved, the exercises are intended to flow within and into each other in order to build strength and stamina - flowing movement outward from a strong core.

Initially adopted by professional dancers in the US as an effective form of recovery after injury, pilates has steadily grown in popularity around the world, and includes famous practioners like Madonna and Jennifer Aniston.

Pilates is suitable for all levels of fitness and age. Practitioners say it's a more gentle way of raising your activity levels, especially if you have poor mobility, aches and pains or an injury.

What's the difference between yoga and pilates?

Both pilates and yoga focus on developing strength, balance, flexibility, posture and breathing technique. Yoga focuses on postures and breathing as does Pilates but its exercises are more precise and movements are specifically designed to target specific areas of the body.