PILATES EMPOWERMENT, September 2012 Scoop

September, 2012 Scoop
by Kerry De Vivo

Classical Pilates.  You hear that term a lot lately.  Well, what is it?  Back when I started practicing Pilates (back in the 1900s, mid-80s) there was not a need to differentiate between Pilates or Classical Pilates.  However, years later, with a lot of history and even a lawsuit where the trademark for Pilates was lost, there is a need to make a distinction.

Let me begin with some more history of Pilates.  When Joseph Pilates was alive, he referred to his method of body conditioning as Contrology.  After Joseph Pilates passed away, his studio was maintained by his wife Clara as well as Romana Krysanowska.  Romana is one of a handful of proteges of Mr. Pilates’ method.  

Over time there was little to no regulation on preserving the system of Pilates, nor on the training required to teach Pilates.   An array of variations and “thin” teacher training options became present in the fitness arena making it now necessary to distinguish Classical Pilates.

The term Classical Pilates refers to the body of exercises that were created by Joseph Pilates and handed down through his proteges.  The system is vast with over 500 exercises and variations on the exercises performed on a mat as well as apparatus designed specifically for this method.  There is a systematic layering system involved.  The Classical Pilates Method requires countless hours/years of dedicated time to learning the exercises as well as learning how to teach this powerful form of exercise designed to uniformly develop the body.