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3 women doing Pilates forward flexion stretch

The Pilates Method

The Ultimate Method to Change Your Life

P4P strives to encourage people with Parkinson’s disease to get educated on as many aspects of the condition as possible, in particular movement.  Maintaining fluid movement contributes to a sense of self-empowerment and independence.  The right type of exercise is key.  We believe the primary exercise training modality for all stages of PD is the Pilates Method.   


The Pilates Method is the ideal fitness training modality for all stages of Parkinson's disease.  Exercise principles of the Method include breathing, axial elongation, core control, spine articulation, alignment, centering, concentration, and movement integration, all of which harness a mind-body connection and are relevant to maintaining fluid movement in each stage of Parkinson’s disease.

Safe and Effective

The Pilates Method is a safe and effective exercise regimen which can be practiced with or without equipment or props.  It has traditionally been the preferred exercise by dancers for its rehabilitative and therapeutic value, especially after physical therapy as a long term maintenance strategy.  The method predominantly focuses on breath work, spinal movement, postural alignment, core strengthening, and controlled rhythmic motion. 


Pilates mat exercises which make up the foundation of the method, have traditionally been looked upon as a feasible rehabilitative strategy because it is low cost, can be practiced at home or any location, does not require purchase of equipment, and can be easily modified in many ways such as intensity and range of motion.  All of the exercises in the Pilates Mat repertoire require core stabilization while constantly moving the spine in directions of flexion, extension, lateral flexion, and rotation.  In addition, skeletal muscles are heavily affected by Pilates exercises as a type of resistance training using one’s own body weight.  Thus strength can be developed to support postural stability and improve balance [4].  It was concluded that a mat Pilates program had positive effects on participant’s quality of life and improved fitness level [5].

Benefits of Pilates practiced faithfully...

  • Increased lung capacity and circulation through deep breathing – primary focus

  • Stimulates and massages internal organs through deep diaphragmatic breathing

  • Develops overall strength and in particular core strength (abdomen and back muscles)

  • Coordination – both muscular and mental

  • Improved Flexibility

  • Improved posture

  • Improved balance  

  • Improved joint health

  • Increased positive body awareness

  • Creates a strong core to help support and align the spine

  • Improves proprioception (knowing where one's body is in space)

  • Builds stronger bones and improves bone density through the use of resistance and weight- bearing in the workouts

  • Increases potential to lose weight in a healthy and safe way

  • Reduces risk of injury by enabling more fluid and stable movement

  • Helps cardiovascular endurance

  • Builds muscle through isolation

  • Helps to create a sense of calm and provide stress relief

  • Develops mental focus and the mind-body connection 

Benefits of Pilates
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