Pilates: a fresh breath of life


Story and photo by Airman 1st Class Hailey Haux
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

A group of women take a Pilates class Monday at the Ramstein Southside Fitness Center. Pilates focuses on breathing and putting the body back into its natural form of alignment by a set of 34 movements used to work the powerhouse, or core, of your body along with other major muscle groups.
A group of women take a Pilates class Monday at the Ramstein Southside Fitness Center. Pilates focuses on breathing and putting the body back into its natural form of alignment by a set of 34 movements used to work the powerhouse, or core, of your body along with other major muscle groups.

Deep breath in for five seconds, hold it and exhale: five, four, three, two, one. Inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth.

These are some common instructions used in the Pilates class offered from 11 a.m. to noon Mondays and Wednesdays at the Ramstein Southside Fitness Center.


“Pilates is a systematic set of 34 movements used to work the power house, or core, of your body along with other major muscle groups,” said Pilates instructor Teresa Romanowicz. “It focuses on breathing and putting the body back into its natural form of alignment.”

The Pilates workout was created by Joseph Pilates, who was a sickly child with rheumatic fever, rickets and asthma. The workouts helped combat those diseases.

Pilates can help a person with their physical training. Push-ups, sit-ups and running are easier with a strong core. With breathing being a major part in PT, the deep breathing technique used helps by getting clean air into the lungs.

“I started attending this class in January,” said Joanna Turcotte, a Pilates attendee. “I have noticed that it has built my core, and I feel stronger and more flexible. My favorite part about the class is the core workout.”

There are 10 movement principles of Pilates: become aware, achieve balance, breathe correctly, concentrate deeply, center yourself, gain control, be efficient, create flow, be precise and seek harmony.

Pilates uses a person’s body weight and small, slow movements like crunches, planks and sidekicks to gain control of the body.

“It’s a great workout for both men and women,” Romanowicz said. “All of us are out of alignment in some way or another. I have a lot of people come up to me after the workout and tell me that it was more difficult than they thought.”

Being in alignment can make a person more balanced, Romanowicz said.

“I love to teach because I love the way it makes me feel. I always leave the class feeling stronger, more balanced and just great overall,” she said. “I teach the Zumba class after and Pilates prepares me for the fast pace that a Zumba class entails.”

The instructor says, once more keeping your chest open, deep breath in for five seconds, hold it and exhale: five, four, three, two, one. Well done, everyone.

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