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WHAT IS YOGA
Yoga is an ancient Indian philosophy that enhances personal growth and well being. Although a systemic philosophical approach, yoga is not a religion, but complementary with most spiritual paths. The physical aspect of Yoga (Hatha Yoga) use poses and focused breathing, requiring concentration and discipline. The result is a greater union of mind, body and spirit. Anyone, regardless or body type, age, experience, or physical abilities, can practice yoga.

What isn't Yoga? Yoga is not a religion, yoga is not contortionism, yoga is not staring at a candle and breathing incense, yoga is not only for supple young people, yoga is not just lying around relaxing.

Why do Yoga? Yoga is a tool for gaining body-mind awareness to enhance whatever spiritual/religious beliefs you have. A typical class will leave you felling energized and relaxed. You will work your muscles and will properly align your bones; you will take a breath deeply, oxygenating the lungs and blood; you will experience true deep relaxation. By bringing awareness to the body, and working the muscles, you are able to more deeply relax them then from any other form of exercise. This is why you feel so good after a yoga class, rather than an aerobics class, because you are deepening your awareness of and appreciation for your bodies.

WHAT IS PILATES?
Pilates is a non-spiritual method of movement program that was developed in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates. Pilates called his method contrology, which refers to the way the method encourages the use of the mind to control the muscles. It focuses on your core muscles - a large group of muscles in your our center - encompassing the upper/lower abdominal and back muscles, hips and buttocks. (The core muscles consist of four large muscles, namely the rectus abdominis, transversus abdominis, external obliques and internal obliques). By strengthening our core muscles, or the Powerhouse, as Joseph Pilates called it, the entire body is strengthened, thus building a foundation of strength and stamina for our daily living.

Pilates consists of a series of exercises, or smooth flowing movements that focuses on proper motion and balance. It is guided by a set of key principles such as breathing, concentration, control, centering, precision, flow, rhythm, endurance, relaxation - all of which when properly applied, ensures the desired positive effect on the body.

Not one Pilates principle is independent of the other - all of them work together to harness the full effects and benefits of the Pilates method of exercise. The words of Joseph Pilates himself best encapsulates the principles of Pilates: "Through Pilates, you first purposefully acquire complete control of your own body and then through proper repetition of its exercises, you gradually and progressively acquire that natural rhythm and coordination associated with all your subconscious activities."

Pilates is suitable for everyone. One of the most unique aspects of Pilates is that it is for everyone - literally. Whether you have been exercising all your life, or embarking on it for the first time, or recovering from an injury, this low-impact but challenging workout is gentle on the body yet effective.

Men and women of all ages. Pilates improves general fitness and body awareness, bringing balance and better overall control of your body. If you are out of shape, Pilates gently eases you into any kind of fitness plan. It conditions your muscles in a balanced way and increases your self-awareness by drawing your focus inward. For the elderly Pilates puts no stress on the joints and spine, in fact, it aims to stabilize and strengthen your "core" muscles or powerhouse.

Athlete and performing artists. So many professional sports men and women are using Pilates as part of their overall fitness regime as it emphasizes the use of muscles in a balanced way. Once you understand your body and its movement, you'll be able to specialize in the use of your muscle group, thus becoming more efficient and effective in the sport. Similarly for dancers, Pilates builds strength and maintains balance, which are vital aspects of a good dancer.

Pre-and-post natal. Pilates can benefit the woman at the pre and post-natal stages. Pilates prepares and conditions the pre-natal body for the trauma it will need to go through during childbirth by strengthening the core muscles, especially the pelvis, and trains the mind to remain focused and relaxed - all of which will benefit the birthing process. As for the post-natal period, Pilates can effectively help to tone and strengthen the abdominal muscles that have been stretched during pregnancy.

Remedial and rehabilitation work. The founder of Pilates, Joseph Pilates himself was laden with illness as a young child. But determined to overcome his physical limitations, he developed the Pilates method, which has helped him, and subsequently millions around the world regain their health.

DO I HAVE TO BE PRESENT IN A STUDIO TO DO PILATES? IS IT POSSIBLE TO DO IT ON MY OWN AT HOME?
It is not a must to do Pilates in a studio as you can do it yourself at home if you wish to do so. The most important thing is that you need to learn the correct techniques. And once you are equipped with the right skills, you can do Pilates anywhere. However, in a studio, you will have access to all the necessary equipment which you may not have access to at home.

CAN I HAVE A SPECIFIC PROGRAM TAILORED TO SUIT MY PHYSICAL NEEDS?
Everyone has different body and thus different needs so yes, it is definitely possible. Pilates has been known to be able to solve your aches and pains problems, whether it is because of bad lifestyle and injury. As you make progress with your Pilates exercises, your needs will gradually change and the exercises program also needs altering accordingly to meet your needs.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I DO PILATES?
It should be practiced at least 3 times a week in order to gain benefits from Pilates. One session usually lasts for an hour.

IS PILATES CONDUCTED INDIVIDUALLY OR IN A GROUP?
It can be done both in a group and individually. However, it is better and recommended for beginners to have a private class as it allows the instructor to assess and address the specific physical and mental needs of the individual.

DO I NEED TO INVEST IN ANY SPECIAL EQUIPMENT OR CLOTHES TO DO PILATES?
You will be fine in comfortable attire. Most Pilates exercises are done on a mat, however, there are lots of movements which require you to use different equipments ranging from Exercise Bands, Rubber Balls, Lightweights, Barrels, Performer and Wall Springs. You can find these equipments in most Pilates studio.

IS IT POSSIBLE TO COMBINE PILATES WITH OTHER TYPES OF SPORTS?
It is definitely possible to combine Pilates with other sports. In fact, it can enhance your performance at the other sports you do to by having more muscles balance. A lot of sportsmen have acknowledged the significant effects and advantages of doing Pilates in the sports they play.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PILATES AND YOGA?
Yoga aims at refining and purifying the body as well as providing strength and stamina needed for a long period of meditation by doing a series of physical movements. On the other hand, Pilates aims at helping our bodies return to their natural form, have muscular balance and coordination and achieve strength in our cores by doing a series of movements and exercises.

Both Pilates and Yoga aim at connecting the mind, body, spirit and breath together, however, Pilates in non spiritual, but in believes that when our minds understand and control the bodies properly, our bodies will work at their best in the most efficient and effective manners.

CAN I LOSE WEIGHT BY DOING PILATES?
A combination of exercise regime, a lifestyle change, and a proper diet are needed to lose weight. Pilates allows you to develop your mind and mind as well as gain strength. Pilates is very effective when it comes to fixing posture and coordination, relieving pains and aches, toning, strengthening the muscles and at the end, it will provide good circulation in the body. Even though there will not be an instant effect, it will definitely play a major role in people's long-term weight reduction plan.

WHAT IS THE UNIQUENESS OF JAVA YOGA AND PILATES CENTRE?
Java Yoga and Pilates Centre studio has an affiliation with the Ron Fletcher Program of study in USA and it is professionally dedicated to teaching Pilates. The instructors are all professionally-trained and certified and they are all passionate about Pilates.

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