As a Physical Therapist and a Pilates instructor, I often get asked if Pilates is the right fit for some of my patients. And for most individuals I would say yes. But there are a few things you need to take into consideration.
Pilates, is a series of exercises that focuses on core and postural strength, that focuses on precision and control. It was actually originally named Contrology, by the founder Joseph Pilates.
It can be conveniently performed at home on a mat. Or in a studio with specialized equipment such as the reformer with an instructor who can supervise you.
What I like about Pilates is the strong mind/ body connection you gain from it, with the exercises tending to be a more intense workout when compared to yoga. The strong emphasis on good form translates well into every day activities and has made me more mindful in how my posture is throughout my day.
Another consideration, that is often overlooked, is the training your instructor has. Comprehensive Pilates instructor training requires in-depth studying of mats and equipment at programs offered by a variety of master instructors. There are classic methods or contemporary methods. For me it was important to be taught a more contemporary approach. 70% of the mat exercises recommended in Joseph Pilates book Return to Life are contraindicated for osteoporosis, disc pathology, and stenosis. Therefore, I needed options to be able to modify these exercises to better fit the population of people that I would be instructing. I received my certificate of training through BASI, a contemporary method, which required 500 hours of instruction on all apparatus.
I find that Pilates is a great adjunct to my Physical Therapy care and has better equipped my patients in attaining their goals.