It‘s been nearly 100 years since Joseph Pilates introduced his magnum opus to the world. Like a magnum opus should, it’s truth and effectiveness has stood the test of time and will continue to do so.
The Woman’s Health article that you can find here: https://apple.news/ABlkRB82tSViJ3l12rBtiYA
claims it’s the best but I don’t think the body of the article proves their title. I figured I would try to clarify and show you how their claim really is true.
To prove it is the best we would first have to understand the criteria for the best. Does it burn the most calories, give you the most defined six-pack, make you more sexually desirable? Jospeh Pilates set his own criteria for his work, that it should produce optimum health in a human being.
So now with that criteria in mind we can show you how Pilates does this and how it surpasses all popular modalities in the achievement of this goal.
We all want to be happy and with our health as the first requirement to attain that goal, Pilates is a 3 for 1 deal. It strengthens your body in a uniform and balanced way, it requires mastery and personal knowledge of your body to do this, which is a development and training of your mind, and it returns your spine to a more youthful flexibility. So when it comes to enjoying your life, being healthy, youthful and having mental clarity and calm is a fairly easy to agree upon package of attributes.
Now the information in the Women’s Health article can come in handy because how on earth do you achieve such a tall order. Jospeh Pilates thought of that too. His equipment (the article talks about the reformer) was created to support our body at whatever level of imbalance we start our work at. That makes pilates for everyone. It takes the intimidation away because whatever you can’t do on your own, the equipment will give you extra support until you can do it without the assistance. A workout that literally every population can do, old, young, injured, fit, is surely superior. And not only that but it levels the playing field. A fit person doesn’t necessarily have any advantage over a sedentary person when it comes to balanced muscle development, mental awareness and precise control of their body.
You see his method produces the results and benefits it claims to. It doesn’t just speak of them as a marketing tool. You can count on, when following his direction precisely: experiencing mental, physical and spiritual benefits. You can count on “Returning to Life” as his book is so aptly titled.
So where is the downside, because this all sounds too great. Well there’s a big one. You have to show up, you have to do the work, you have to care enough to pay attention and get to know your body.
And it takes time. Depending on where you are starting from, and where you want to get to, you start Pilates with the intent of doing it for the long haul. Otherwise it is just a waste of time if you treat it with the mentality like it’s just another workout. Just an item to check off your to-do list.
Even while it’s a long term endeavor and commitment, you will know in a very short time how it is different and superior. His most famous quote is true, 10 lessons you feel the difference, 20 lessons you see the difference. I might add within your first 3 lessons you should know that this is different and can tell how it will be more beneficial than anything you’ve ever done before.
Additionally, Pilates takes care to improve your internal health. Which you can start crossing a bunch of other workouts off your list that completely disregard what their forced movements are doing to your internal organs or timed intervals do to stress hormone production. When you begin Pilates you will quickly feel that you are learning to breathe and walk all over again. The most basic activities of your life will suddenly seem like brand new endeavors. Since we take over 23,000 breaths every single day, I’m sure you can see why Joseph said:
A consideration that is important when starting Pilates, if you are serious about committing and achieving these benefits, is the quality of your guide and commitment of your studio or place of practice. The breathing quote is one way you can determine how knowledgeable your teachers or studio are. Is breath completely ignored? Are you given any instruction on changing faulty breath patterns?
Another is by the health and physical condition of your instructors. Do they have back pain and injuries? Do they exhibit mental unrest, or unhappiness? If Pilates produces these results and your guide does not embody them, how will they impart to you what they do not have for themself. This really means they don’t understand the work and are just unable delivery it in it’s entirety to you. I’ve been on both sides of this coin so I speak not in judgement or condemnation just in truth.
By no means is this a comprehensive article, but it’s already long enough and definitely speaks about the Women’s Health title more clearly and definitively.
The last addition I will make is that the article says there are two brands contemporary and classical pilates and two types of classes mat and reformer. This is a very vague and overly simplified description of what is standard in the marketplace. How pilates is sold does not reflect it’s quality unless it is sold specifically and solely to do just that. Our program is created in every single way to reflect and respect Joseph Pilates magnum opus. And to produce it’s results for all who really want them. It is one of a kind in the world. And is not classical or contemporary and our “classes“ are not mat or reformer. In fact we don’t even have classes, because to achieve the results as described you must get to know your body. To know your body you must spend time with it. You must practice. The teacher, the equipment, the method, can’t magically give you anything. Knowing that, our model is a blend of method, guidance and practice that gives each of you power over your own body and health. And results in true confidence that can only come from your own endeavor and personal understanding gained through it.