Why is Pilates good for you? by dancer/instructor Julie Niekrasz

I love teaching STOTT PILATES® and seeing how it helps people of all ages and ranges of mobility. At the Pilates Centre of Ballet Memphis, we have able-bodied clients who take Pilates to stay in shape, and we have clients who may be stiff and want more flexibility. With clients I have been with for a year or more, I am always ecstatic to witness their progress, whether it’s being able to hold no tension in their necks or finally accomplishing an advanced exercise. Is Pilates for you? Almost anyone can benefit from Pilates—men, women, children, those who are athletes and those who may not have exercised at all in some time. As with any exercise program, you’ve got to stick with it to see results. When you do, (and I know you will!) you will begin to see: Increased stability and peripheral mobility, improved fitness levels that could help prevent injury, greater ease of movement, improved performance of specific sport skills, enhanced balance, coordination and circulation.

When taking or teaching a Pilates class, I always start my warm-up with breathing. It helps get rid of tension and gets the blood moving. I remember teaching a new client for the first time, and I had noticed that she was excellent at exhaling, but never took in a deep breath. After a few minutes into our session, I told her what I had seen and that she should inhale to exhale. She looked at me and realized for the first time in many years that she had not inhaled deeply. She now carries that sense of breath into her everyday life. I had taught someone something as simple as breathing, and I was so happy to help her.I also had a client that was on many pain medications for a number of years due to a neck surgery in the past. After taking a mat class for six months at the Pilates Centre, he was off all of his pain medication and was thrilled to have his neck pain gone because Pilates had strengthened his neck and back. The best part was that he was telling this to someone new who had just walked to the centre and had never taken Pilates before.

Why not see if Pilates is right for you? We’re here to help you begin—not just with Pilates but also in learning how to have a healthier, more toned body and relaxed state of mind. We’re not far from anywhere in Memphis, and we offer all levels of classes.  

—Julie Niekrasz, dancer and certified Pilates instructor

Posted by Cynthia Saatkamp at 12:31 PM
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