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Pilates By Gwen Goes Back To Basics

By Elisha Neubauer

Pilates is a form of physical exercise that was invented by Joseph Pilates in the 1920s. Originally created to help with rehabilitation, Pilates has taken on its own unique path over the last few years. Today, there are two forms of this exercise: classical and contemporary.

Gwen Heath Mitrano, Comprehensive Pilates Instructor, knew she wanted to take Pilates back to its roots. She founded Pilates By Gwen in Franklin, Massachusetts.

"Contemporary Pilates has been modernized by adjusting the exercises to fit with modern research and has been influenced from physical therapy and bio-mechanics," Mitrano said. "Many exercises remain the same as Joseph Pilates but quite a few have been added or variations have been added. The original method has been diluted and the derivations are considered Pilates-hybrids."

Mitrano wanted to create an environment that endorsed the original format of the practice, while welcoming and encouraging students on a one on one basis. The first-class studio made its home in a restored mill building, which features exposed brick, high ceilings, and floor to ceiling windows. The ambiance created by the setting only increases the efficiency of the teacher's methods.

"All of the equipment is top of the line PEAK professional grade apparatus that is meticulously maintained," Mitrano said. "The instructors have all completed a rigorous training program and are comprehensively certified in Classical Pilates."

At Pilates By Gwen, several classes are available which all adhere to the original method created by the practice's founder, Joseph Pilates. A Reformer class targets the abs through the use of the Reformer equipment. Chair classes offer challenging workouts by utilizing the Pilates chair, a box with one side that can be pressed down against the resistance of springs.

The Tower of Power class utilizes equipment which focuses on spring-based resistance through a push-through bar, roll back bar, leg springs and arm springs, which challenges and strengthens the entire body. All classes exploit a resistance control method that focuses on developing and rehabilitating total body strength and flexibility.

Pilates is a great tool for anyone looking to create a greater mind-body awareness, increase core stability and balance, increase flexibility and agility, relieve pain and tension, and improve posture and coordination.

"Pilates has most definitely changed my life for the better," Mitrano said.

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About The Author

Elisha Neubauer is a freelance editor, ghostwriter, book reviewer, and author. She is...

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