Kiralates for Ultimate Body Shaping
With a background in ballet and other forms of dance, I have been a devotee of pilates since I was in highschool. It is a spectaular form of exercise that results in long, lean muscles and killer posture - exactly what most brides are after for their wedding day (and indeed as an ongoing thing).
Pilates is fantastic also for those (like me) who tend to be fairly injury prone especially when doing high-impact forms of cardio. It strengthens EVERYTHING so activities that might normally result in pain or discomfort, come much more easily.
Founder, Joseph H. Pilates, was no softy. Originally a gymnast, diver and bodybuilder, he was fraught with illness including asthma, rickets and rheumatic fever. Pilates came to believe that bad posture and inefficient breathing of modern life lay at the roots of poor health and devised a series of exercises and training techniques and engineered all the equipment, specifications and tuning required to teach his methods properly. He used his methodology to rehabilitate injured soldiers from the Second World War.
There are two popular forms of Pilates, the most popular being the mat workout, where floor-based movements use gravity and body weight to create resistance. The other is Reformer Pilates, incorporating special equipment designed by Joseph Pilates.
For the past three years I have been going to classes and one-on-one sessions at Kiralates in Double Bay with the loely Kira Varejes (don't be fooled by her angelic demeanour though, she's known to a few clients as "Kira the Killer" for her ability to push people to their limit).
“Pilates is an exercise method that trains the entire body in order to promote strength, flexibility, alignment, coordination and balance,” says Kira Varejes from Kiralates.
“It’s all about the ‘powerhouse’ or core,” says Varejes. “The core supports the rest of the body and interlinks all our muscles together. For runners, it will help to lift your stomach in and up which in turn will help to lift your torso and project you forward to improve your pace. For weight lifters, it gives you functional alignment, efficient way of standing so that when you push weight up, you are in a correct position.”
Pilates helps build long, lean muscles and, besides the aforementioned strength and flexibility benefits, posture, balance and coordination see improvements. Typically there are mat classes, reformer classes and/or private or duet sessions. If you are on a budget mat classes are generally more cost effective but private sessions can be tailored to your specific needs.
And don't think this post is just for brides. Pilates is a great workout for couples to share to get fit in the lead up to the big day to to de-stress from the weeks and months of wedding planning..
Kiralates has kindly offered a 15% discount on a 10-session package for anyone that mentions this blog post from Alexandra Weddings.