When you think Pilates, what comes to mind? Searing pain in your midsection? A room full of strange-looking equipment? The perfect complement to a Yoga workout? Here are some little-known facts about Pilates that we think Yogis should know.
- Joseph Pilates was believed to have studied yoga with a student of Sri T. Krishnamacharya, who traveled to Germany to spread his teachings of yoga. Joseph combined this and his studies of boxing, anatomy, and Greek physical regimes among others, to create a balanced and vigorous form of exercise that challenges both the mind and body.
- Just as it does in Yoga, Pilates starts and finishes on the mat. The apparatus seen in the Pilates studio was actually developed secondary to the mat work. Joseph fashioned the equipment to strengthen students for the mat.
- Joe called his method “Contrology,” because he believed it to be the study of the mind controlling the body. He thought that humans’ minds and bodies were not truly connected, and it is only through this connection that we find our true inner strength.
- Joseph never used the word “core” that is synonymous with Pilates. While he taught that strength came from the “powerhouse”, the method is designed to develop the body uniformly. Each movement in Pilates originates from the powerhouse and realigns the body.
- Joseph Pilates published two books*: His first book outlined all of Joe’s ideologies on how to lead a healthy life, and his second book described the classical mat exercises and sequence, complete with photos of Joe doing the exercises. He believed his exercises and whole body health to be accessible to everyone. * Your Health: A Corrective System of Exercising That Revolutionizes the Entire Field of Physical Education in 1934, and Return to Life Through Contrology in 1945.
Erica Downing and Tawny Solorzano have been teaching Pilates together for 12 years. They currently teach at YogaWorks Westlake Village, both are PMA-CPT, and co-created (along with Yani Brancato) and lead the YogaWorks Pilates Teacher Training, launched in 2012. The next Pilates Teacher Training: 450 Hour Training to Transform your life lead by Erica and Tawny is coming up September 9 – December 11, 2016 at YogaWorks Westlake Village. For more information, visit Facebook or Instagram.