Pilates is a sweet exercise discipline that was created in the 20th century by Joseph Pilates. During World War I, he was interned as an "alien national" with other German nationals in England. It was here that Joe began to work with other internees in a strengthening discipline that not only toned the body but the mind as well. He began to work with bedridden patients, attaching springs and bars to their hospital beds, an innovation that led to his later equipment designs. It was during this time that a huge influenza epidemic devastated England, killing thousands, however not one of Joe's clients perished due to what Joe believed were his new techniques. After the war, he moved to NYC with his wife Clara, and that is where they began to teach what is now known today as Pilates.
So what's happened since then? Well the secret of Pilates is out and it has swept the world. Today over 8.6 million people do Pilates, which is a 450% increase since 2010, making it the fastest growing activity in the United States (Rovell 2010). And the numbers are expected to continue to climb! People are hot for Pilates!! And it's no surprise either. What other workout offers to create a slimmed down, toned version of you in a nonabrasive, balanced manner that teaches you how to be present with your mind as well? I dare say not many! And that's why celebrities, athletes, office workers, and stay at home moms alike are flocking to get into a class! It works!
So are there different styles? Well today it's original, unadulterated form still exists. However now a living, adapting version takes over in dominance. You see when Joe was teaching in NYC most of his clientele were professional dancers. Today's population is a little different than that and quite frankly this is a different world with different needs. Being able to pas de chat in ballet class without pain is less relevant than being able to sit without back pain while at work for ten hours at a computer.
So this is the approach we are going to take in this blog, using Joe's sweet exercises and adding some love to make it work for today's peeps. Brilliant! So remember, Pilates can be different things for you at different stages. It can be something to get you toned and in shape, but it can also be used to rehab injuries. That's where you come in. Pilates takes a ton of mental awareness. Knowing and listening to your body is key to knowing your path. So if you're looking to tone up those triceps and say, "peace out!" to those love handles then read on my friend!
Joe said it best, "The mind, when housed within a healthful body, possesses a glorious power." So true Joe. And that is the lovely power we are going to find!! We have the power to build our bodies strong and resilient so that we can transform our bodies into cut, hot-lookin' pieces of property, baby!! So fear not friends! The "glorious power" is on its way!!!
Rovell, D. 2010. Survey: Pilates exploding, darts & billards plummeting. CNBC Sports Business Section (Mar.30).