Pilates can make positive mental and physical changes in your teen's life.
At Love Pilates we are passionate about moving bodies. Bodies of all shapes, sizes and ages. In fact we offer classes for pretty much any age group and ability. Our latest offering is Pilates classes for teens - Teen-alates, which is proving to be a hit with our girls and guy.
Pilates is a fantastic full body, functional movement form which encompasses 6 essential principals: breathing, control, centring, concentration, precision and flow. It is an essential movement form which builds strength and stamina and is then utilised within ones daily movement patterns. Relieving stress, reducing aches and pains, correcting poor posture, mobilising joints and strengthening both superficial and deep muscles. Pilates uses ones own body weight but props such as balls, rings and rollers can be thrown into the session. There are also different types of equipment that can be used such as the reformer, Wunda Chair, Ladder Barrel and Cadillac. And apart from it being really good for the body, it is great fun too!
I think I speak for the masses here, but a teen's life is not an easy one. Cue hormones, school stresses, life lessons, peer pressure, body and self confidence issues to name a few. Add that to sitting for most of a day, either at school or at home doing homework, telly watching, texting etc, and,while they may engage in an extra-mural school sport, these sports are usually one dimensional. Meaning: repetitive movements resulting in an imbalance in musculature. Add to that, if your teen is a busy teen, where do they find the time to find themselves? To find that quiet place within their minds and bodies where they can just be without having to BE anyone? Where they can connect with their essential self?
Yes, you guessed it, a Pilates class!
Pilates offers our teens at least an hour away from 'the real world' where they can be who they are, move their bodies, feel great about their bodies, get stronger, fitter, more mobile, find balance and move in all planes of direction. Pilates inspires body confidence THE HEALTHY WAY because they are in a safe space to explore what their bodies are able to do and to be IN their bodies, in a studio environment, without judgement! Another benefit from doing Pilates and finding the right teacher for your teen, is that a healthy bond is formed between the teacher and teen, inspiring confidence and the ability to speak to an adult (who is not a parent) if needs be.
I asked my niece - age 17 - who, I am pleased to say, I inspired to start Pilates (she is my model on the teen's advertising flyers) as to why she loves Pilates.
This was her response: "For me, Pilates isn't just a series of exercises, it has become a time that I spend moaning, groaning and laughing with my friends and instructor. More importantly it has become an allocated time slot purely dedicated to myself and my body. I am an extrovert and well, a teenager so I'm constantly surrounded with people, which I love, but having one hour per week to breath and melt into my thoughts, creates a break from that intensity, a break that I never realised I needed."
How awesome to think that Pilates can provide all that in one class once a week!
Pilates will also help with their chosen sport, be it tennis, netball, ballet, rugby, football, cricket, yes, Pilates is fantastic for guys too. In fact, Pilates was designed by a man (Joseph Pilates - hence the name) and the system of exercises he designed were intended to strengthen both the body and mind of both males AND females. Starting the Pilates habit early on in life can only be beneficial, showing that self-love and acceptance is crucial to well-being.
At Love Pilates (a small home based studio in the centre of Durbanville, Western Cape) we come in and out of our Pilates box and challenge bodies to try things they may not have tried before, or didn't think they ever would! We, as instructors, are firm believers in challenging our comfort zones, in changing perceptions and loving our bodies, the way they are. We like to pass on the positivity of a healthy body, a healthy mind, a balanced body and a balanced mind. We are also avid aerial silkists, we play at the circus and get upside down.
In the studio we bring some of the elements of what we are taught into our classes making them fun, challenging and sometimes, off the wall. But, we always come back to Pilates, because that is where it starts. The inner strength one gains by trusting oneself, by finding the ability to move with ease and correct muscle recruitment, and by strengthening without even realising, as the Pilates journey continues, opens up a whole new world of possibilities with ones exercise regime.
Our first class is free for your teen. Mail us on info@lovepilates for more details and if you are nowhere near us, check Google for your closest Pilates Studio, there are many about. Just be rest assured that if the first teacher your meet is not for your teen, try another one as there are many different types of teachers out there. One just needs to find the right fit!
Here's to getting your teen started on their Pilates journey!