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Pilates was developed by German-born Joseph Pilates, who initially used it as a rehabilitation workout for injured detainees during World War I, combining martial arts, gymnastics, and yoga. When he moved to New York in 1926 and started a studio, the workout became popular among members of the dance community because of the way it developed strength and grace.
Today there are at least two forms of Pilates being practiced in Pilates studios in Manila: Romana's Pilates was developed by Romana Kryzanowska, who trained under Joseph Pilates. Stott Pilates, developed by Moira Stott-Merrithew, is also based on Romana's Pilates, but slightly modernized with variations in the order of the exercises, breathing, and movement. It also emphasises the natural curve of the spine, with exercises done in the "neutral spine" position.
When done correctly, Pilates exercises will improve your posture by strengthening your core—“the muscles on your abs, back, pelvis, and hips: Think the ultra-toned physique that Pilates gave Gwyneth Paltrow for her role as Pepper Potts in Iron Man. Want to try a session? SPOT.ph pre-tested ten studios around the city for you:
1. B+B Studio
G/F Bonifacio Technology Center, 31st Street corner 2nd Avenue, Fort Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Contact: 815-1009; (0917) 899BODY
Rates: P1,600 for a private, 55-minute session; P500/person per 55-minute group Pilates With Toys (PWT) class (maximum of six)
B+B Studio's location in a quiet but easily accessible area of Fort Bonifacio Global City, away from the noise and traffic found in most other parts of the city, easily makes it the most inviting among the places we've had a chance to see—“you almost feel like you're walking into an exclusive spa, rather than a workout studio. Beginners would benefit greatly from their private sessions, in which the one-on-one workout will be tailored specifically to your needs, and your instructor will guide you through the exercises to make sure that you're doing them correctly to maximize the movements and prevent injury.
Pros: Easily accessible location; inviting workout studio
Cons: Sessions are not cheap and schedules will depend on the availability of instructors.
Unit 209 Burgundy Place, Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City
Contact: (0918) 833-1333
Rates: P1,300 per 60-minute session; P650/person per 60-minute group mat session (minimum of three, maximum of 15)
Things started out easy enough, with Armand Bautista, the instructor behind PilatesWorks, expertly answering all our beginners' questions about Pilates, its benefits, and why it could be better than yoga. Trained in Romana's Pilates, Armand explained that anyone can do Pilates, and that this form of exercise not only improves flexibility and muscle tone, but improves posture, strengthens and—“in its more advanced form—“gives one a cardio workout, too.
Pros: Personalized, one-on-one workout scheduled at your convenience.
Cons: Tricky parking; more expensive than plain mat class.