“Logically, man should develop his physical condition simultaneously with the development of his mind.
Neither should be sacrificed at the expense of the other, otherwise the all important balance of body and mind is not attainable”.
Return to Life: J H Pilates
Many people think that Pilates is a recent fad, popularised by Hollywood stars and ‘as seen on TV’ commercials. However, it originated from a man called Joseph Pilates who was born in 1880 in Dusseldorf, Germany.
Joseph Pilates was a man ahead of his time.
As early as 1914 he had observed that by pulling in our lower abdominal muscles when exercising we create what he called
“the powerhouse’- a strong centre.
With a strong ‘powerhouse’ we could then ‘return to life’ and become fit and healthy. More recently, research from the world of
physiotherapy has proven the link between the same abdominal muscles that Pilates worked with (particularly the transverses abdominis)
and back health.
Pilates was also a great proponent of a holistic approach to health, embodying mind, body and spirit; focusing on the importance of
correct breathing (again, modern research is proving the importance of this, e.g. the Bradcliffe breathing method), focus, precision
Joseph Pilates migrated to the USA in 1925 and set up a studio in New York. Pilates’ studio soon became a popular with the ballet
dancing community as it offered them a chance to recover from injuries and improve and strengthen their technique. Dance legends such
as Ruth St Denis, Ted Shawn, Martha Graham, George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins were amongst the many that experienced his teachings.
Here at, Pilates Works, we use the Stott Pilates method. Stott Pilates is a contemporary approach to the original exercise method
pioneered by the late Joseph Pilates. Canadian co-founders Moira and Lindsay G. Merrithew, along with a team of physiotherapists,
sports medicine and fitness professionals, have spent over two decades refining the Stott Pilates method of exercise and equipment.
This resulted in the inclusion of modern principles of exercise science and spinal rehabilitation, making it one of the safest and
effective methods available. This clear and detailed approach forms the basis for Stott Pilates training. It’s used by rehab and
prenatal clients, athletes, celebrities and everyone in between.
Stott Pilates incorporates modern exercise principles, including contemporary thinking about spinal rehabilitation and athletic
performance enhancement. For example, some approaches may promote a flat back, whereas Stott Pilates exercises are designed to
restore the natural curves of the spine and rebalance the muscles around the joints, placing more emphasis on scapular stabilization.
As well, there are more preparatory exercises and modifications to cater to many different body types and abilities, making it applicable
to everyday life.
The Pilates Studio is located in Millenium Park, Osberstown, Naas, Co. Kildare and is part of Naas Physiotherapy Clinic. We have five
instructors, two of whom are Chartered Physiotherapists. Caitlin Gardiner, a Chartered Physiotherapist, oversees the service.
We have two studios, a reformer and a mat studio. A reformer is a piece of Pilates equipment that uses springs, pulleys, straps and
ropes to support and challenge the body during movement. The actual machine is usually wooden or metal, with a vinyl “carriage”-
(the part you sit, stand, or lay on), a foot bar, shoulder blocks, a series of springs, and ropes. Many also have other apparatus
attached to them, such as a box, jump board or tower. Cloth handles are connected to the ropes to attach them to clients’ hands and feet.
The springs can either add weight to an exercise, making it more challenging, or they can create a support structure to assist the
body into a new movement. Some feel that this potential for support make it ideal for rehab training. The moving carriage challenges
core stability and requires a great deal of concentration and coordination to maintain proper form. Clients require more supervision
while on a reformer than while practicing mat work. We have five reformer machines at our studio. We believe that all clients should
have done at least one course of mat Pilates, in order to understand the basics, before they move on to reformer.
The Reformer is a great tool for clients with injuries as it can be adjusted to offer support in the necessary areas. It is also ideal
for athletes who are using Pilates to cross-train and target specific muscle groups. Additionally jump board classes allow you to combine
Pilates and cardio together in one class.
We have over thirty five classes per week, to suit all abilities and levels. Our classes are small and our expert instructors provide
individual attention to all clients throughout the class. Each class lasts one hour (with the exception of the 45 minute, prenatal classes).
We also offer private mat or reformer lessons.
Our timetable is updated on a regular basis (usually monthly or
bi-monthly) and the current timetable can be viewed using this link.
Classes can be booked on-line or by calling us on: 045 853726.
All Classes are filled on a “first come first served” basis.