Today, everyone has heard about pilates, a significant amount of people have tried it out and there is a growing number who love it and have made it part of their daily activities. Yet, there are very few who practice this method in the proper manner. What we mean is that few practice this effective and refined method of exercise in the manner in which its essential philosophy dictates. The most important (and at the same time the greatest challenge) is for one to learn the proper-authentic pilates method, meaning the reasoning and philosophy behind each of the basic exercises. What comes afterwards is the so called “choreography” and by that, we mean variety on the excirsice repertoire, through different styles and approaches.

Pilates is like a language. First we learn how to speak in syllables, then sentences and only later do we become capable of communication. The more one masters a language the freer one becomes and feels in relation to the their powers of expression. (Think only of how you feel when visiting a foreign country, unable to communicate in the local language). In the same way, through the practice of pilates, individuals learn how to use all their muscles in the healthiest and most productive manner so that one can learn to not only move in the safest ways but to do so with grace as well!

Now that pilates can be found and practiced everywhere, even at one’s local gym, we come across with what I call “gym pilates” which is nowdays popular not only in gyms, but unfortunately in pilates studios as well. Make-up is certainly not the source of beauty even though it can make small external improvements. Consumption does not bring happiness, even though it can raise one’s spirits for fleeting moments that do not last. The same principle pertains to “gym pilates” that offers simple fitness benefits but not the unique ones that authentic pilates grants to its trainee. After all, the unique benefits that classic pilates offers is the reason why it has reached such widespread popularity and outside of a small circle of elite dancers and athletes who were originally the ones that applied pilates to their overall fitness routines. Blending classic pilates with exercises-movements from other genres (such as Υoga, Stretching, Feldenkreis etc) and pilates variations (such as Basi etc) is welcomed as long as the teacher knows “the why and how” each time.

I strongly believe that what separates one program from another is the practioner and his or her “deep” knowledge of the method. (That depth cannot be attained simply through the fast & popular “3 month educational certificate courses”). The practioner’s enthusiasm, skill and ability to communicate ends up being the crucial factor behind the experience and progress that a trainee takes away from the practice. With the right guidance, the practice of pilates is one that can reward the trainee with a lifetime of benefits for both body and spirit.

For further information: Joseph Pilates