Pilates Classes at the JCC Indianapolis
In the 1920s, Joseph Pilates developed what is now an exercise bearing his name as a way for bedridden hospital patients injured during WWI to keep up their strength. Pilates is a low-impact exercise on a yoga mat that builds strength and tones muscles through slow, precise movements and controlled breaths. In a Pilates class at JCC Indianapolis, you hold movements like planks, side planks, and core exercises to build your muscles and core strength. Use of bands, exercise balls, and small weights help increase the level of your Pilates workout.
Benefits of Pilates Exercise
- Physical Benefits of Pilates: The goal of a mat Pilates class is to strengthen the body’s “powerhouse” – your abdominals, lower back muscles, pelvic floor, hips, and glutes through a series of floor exercises using resistance bands and rings that build, sculpt, and tone these muscles. Pilates can aid in flexibility and improving posture, as stretching your body is a vital part of class. While it is low-impact, Pilates burns fat during and after class, as your muscles continue to shed calories long after class ends.
- Mental Benefits of Pilates: Focusing on your breathing plays a major role in Pilates. Encouraging you to breathe from your belly instead of your chest, Pilates connects your breath to the exercise, allowing an influx of oxygen to better complete each movement. Since you are focusing on deep breathing, your brain can benefit from mindfulness, relaxation, and stress reduction during and after class. Over time, your mind becomes trained to stay more focused not only while working out, but also in your everyday life.
The benefits of Pilates include improved posture, better coordination and balance, increased lung capacity, improved concentration and focus, increased body awareness, stress management, and injury prevention
A Pilates Class Is Best Suited for …
- Pilates is great for injury rehabilitation, pre- and post-natal conditions, and other contraindications to strengthen the body.
- Men and women ages 55 and older use Pilates to strengthen their core and improve balance.
- Athletes who need to improve their range of motion, balance, and flexibility benefit from Pilates. Pilates is particularly great for golfers, as it provides a more effective way of increasing flexibility, strength, and stability than traditional free weights, machines, and static stretches. The game of golf relies on correct alignment, speed, timing, balance, coordination, good postural awareness, core strength, and rotation of your body.
- Pilates is an ideal exercise during pregnancy. It strengthens the core muscles and improves flexibility and mobility, all of which will help during childbirth and aid with recovery once the child is born. Pilates exercises are safe for women at all stages of pregnancy and can be performed in positions such as on hands and knees, sitting, or side-lying. These exercise techniques may take the stress off the back and pelvic floor and help with the positioning of the baby for delivery.
In its simplest form, Pilates allows you to flow through movement and should make everything else you do easier, allowing you to continue to do it longer.
What to Expect
Although most people prefer to bring their own yoga mats, the JCC has plenty available. Additional items, like stretch bands, exercise balls, and weights are provided.
It is best to wear yoga pants and tops and footwear that provide better gripping. Bare feet are not allowed for hygienic reasons. It’s important that the instructor can see your body shape and how your joints and muscles are moving. A billowy tank top or basketball shorts makes it harder for the teacher to see and correct your alignment.
$12 per class (purchase at Welcome Desk) or $40/month for unlimited access to this and all yoga/Pilates classes.
Please note that Yoga/Pilates is a benefit of membership and is for JCC members only.
JCC Pilates Mat Instructors
Alexis started practicing Pilates after being diagnosed with scoliosis as a young dancer in her hometown of Miami, Florida and was lucky enough to have Pilates classes in the curriculum at her high school, New World School of the Arts. A lifetime lover of somatic movement practices, Alexis graduated from Butler University with a B.A in Dance Pedagogy, and under the the guidance of her mentor and friend, Montse Cosin, she completed her Stott Pilates training. Alexis is a NCPT certified Pilates teacher, 200hr RYT Sattva Vinyasa yoga teacher, certified Nurturing Pathways instructor, and Yoga for Breast Cancer teacher. She is a C-IAYT Yoga Therapist and is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine.
A graduate of Butler University (Go, Dawgs!), Stacy is a pharmacist by day. When she really got into fitness, Stacy lost 40-50 pounds. She credits Pilates with being a great overall workout, helping with flexibility, and strengthening abdominal muscles.
Susan received her Masters of Health Science in Physical Therapy from the University of Indianapolis in 1989 and shortly thereafter developed an interest in Pilates as a rehabilitation technique. In 2000 she began taking a variety of Pilates courses, began teaching mat classes and later certified on the Reformer. Her passion is working with older adults to improve their quality of life, having developed her “Better Bones and Balance” class.
Fitness Is a Core Jewish Value
At the JCC, fitness isn’t just something we do; it’s who we are. Although exercise is not mentioned in the Torah, taking care of one’s health is. In fact, while other belief systems advocate for the healing power of prayer, Judaism encourages people to look after their health and seek counsel from medical experts. In Judaism, good health is not a goal in itself. Rather, it is a means to an end – to serve the Creator.