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What is Pilates? No, it’s not just like yoga – instructors explain

LifestyleHealth & Wellness

ExplainerHow Pilates works to transform bodies: it builds core strength, corrects imbalances, improves mindfulness – and LeBron James is a fan

In an ever-growing sea of exercise regimes that rise and fall with the trends, Pilates commands unusual devotion – and many tout it as life-changingOne instructor calls it a ‘nice segue into exercise’ that trains mobility, strength, control, balance and flexibility – and it can be done by people of all agesWellnessSophie ChewPublished: 7:15pm, 19 Sep, 2023Why you can trust SCMP

Dawnna Wayburne, a ballet dancer turned Pilates instructor, suffered from a lung tumour as a child in the UK – and the surgery to remove it left her with nerve damage that, she quips, made her look like “two people glued together”.

“I had a droop on one side of my face, one hip higher than the other,” she says.

Although she recovered enough to join the Royal Academy of Dance in London, the lingering effects limited what she could do as a professional dancer.

When she discovered Pilates in the early 1970s, she was astonished to find how much it helped her dancing.

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“I thought it would be just stretchy exercises at first, but it turned out to be so much more than that,” the 67-year-old says. “Not just the exercises, but also a mindfulness that really helps dancers get in that state of mind for excellence and stay injury-free.”

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