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  • Sharelle Williams

The low-down on Pilates: what is it and what are the benefits?

By Dr. Tanya Shah (Osteopath)

Pilates was first developed by a German man, Joseph Pilates in 1912 during World War 1. As a prisoner of war (POW), Joseph worked in a hospital where he developed the routines. It is believed that these physical fitness routines prevented himself and others from contracting the influenza virus, when thousands of less fortunate POW's were killed.

What is Pilates?

The Pilates method is a mind-body centering technique that highlights the importance of beginning a movement from a central core of stability. This is considered our lumbopelvic region.

Joseph’s Pilates believed that by concentrating on precision of movement, awareness of breath control and flowing movement, the person will be able to change their abnormal patterns of movement, thus achieve a carry-over effect into their everyday lives.

What is involved in Pilates?

Here at Symetri, we provide a Mat Pilates service. Mat Pilates consists of strength, mobility and stretching exercises completed on an exercise mat. The main theme for Mat Pilates consists of maintaining core stability through the lumbopelvic region.

Once core stability is achieved, we work on adjusting the intensity of each exercise through different elements, which include:

  • Differing length levers (various limb movements)

  • Resistance (use of equipment, such as balls, Therabands and blocks)

Who is Pilates beneficial for? Pilates is beneficial for all ages and exercise capabilities. The main benefits of Mat Pilates include:

  • Increased flexibility

  • Improved whole body muscle tone

  • Connecting mind and body

  • Improving posture

  • Reducing stress

At Symetri we tailor each exercise program to suit your individual needs. Whether you’ve recently got an acute injury, or you are suffering from something chronic, Pilates is a great tool to help you get moving in a controlled there is the perk that we can examine and treat you too!

Call your Osteopath to learn how Pilates can help you.


  1. Pilates Foundation. The History of Pilates” Pilates Foundation. (n.d.)

  2. McCann, P. (2022), Matwork Pilates: What it is and what are the benefits? Retrieved from

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