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30 May 2003

The science of Pilates

Pilates has been used by the ballet and modern dance world since its beginnings - there are few dancers who are still ignorant of the transforming benefits that it has to offer performing artists.

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High-performance art
Pilates has been used by the ballet and modern dance world since its beginnings - there are few dancers who are still ignorant of the transforming benefits that it has to offer performing artists.

There has also been worldwide interest in the benefits that Pilates clearly offers to athletes of all disciplines. Several of the world's top national rugby teams use Pilates as an effective from of rehabilitative conditioning, including New Zealand, Australia and our own Amabokoboko.

Coaches of track athletes, cricketers, tennis stars, boxers, footballers, surfers and gymnasts have all recognised that Pilates can provide the edge that is required in modern international and professional sport.

An expert opinion
James Raaff has a Masters degree in Sports Science and Biokinetics and is Co-Director of Training and Education with International Teacher Trainer Miriane Braaf at Equilibrium Pilates Systems.

James says, "All higher human performance is characterised by extremely developed perception coupled with movement skill - action. A dynamic performer of any kind relies on the body's sensations perceived through vision (the dominant sense), touch, smell, hearing and most importantly proprioception. Add the performer's visualization of the desired movement, the memory of what it feels like whenever they get it really right and perhaps a powerful motive- and you have the raw ingredients for brilliant performance."

"It is the increased body awareness of all the intrinsic and extrinsic forces that influence skill. This awareness is created by proprioception (which is joint position sense or kinaesthetic awareness) and is the task of the neuromuscular systems of the body. See the link? Perception-Action. Neuromuscular."

"In the past 15-20 years I have been moving myself, observing and studying how this skill learning can be accelerated or enhanced and I have never seen a more effective way of learning to move skillfully than I have seen possible with the Pilates Method".

 
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