8 Sep 2014

Joe’s Anatomy

Joseph Pilates’ (1883-1967) method of body conditioning is known for its anatomical correctness and emphasis on proper alignment in movement. Coined “the art and science of Contrology”, Joseph himself further described the work as “rigorously scientific, in accord with the dictates of human anatomy and physiology”. But, inquiring minds want to know: How did he learn about...
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29 Aug 2014

The Hundred Up Close

“At first you probably will not be able to carry out instructions as illustrated in poses – this proves why these exercises and all succeeding ones will benefit you.” ~ Joseph Pilates The Hundred is the first exercise in Joseph Pilates’ traditional Mat work. When I began piecing together the evolution of Contrology, the sentence above—from...
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22 Aug 2014

Get off the fast lane

Have you ever been stuck on the highway, behind cars crowding the middle and fast lanes even though the right lane is completely empty? There seems to be a universal law stating that it will take us longer to arrive at our destination if we’re not in the fast lane. And so, the desire to get to our destination...
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11 Aug 2014

The Saw Up Close

Pilates movement, in a nutshell, is stylized and exaggerated everyday movement. “Stylized” means taken out of its everyday context, formalized, and choreographed. “Exaggerated” means taken to its largest available movement range and, in case of the apparatus work, loaded with resistance. Every Pilates exercise relates back to an everyday movement (or its preparation) – the Saw, exercise number...
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7 Aug 2014

Perfection not required

Do you remember the first step you took in your life? I’m assuming the answer is no. I’m also assuming that even though you did not yet operate on conscious thought and memory, you took that step anyway; fearless, confident, and determined, even though you had no idea how it would go. An act of...
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28 Jul 2014

Movement is teamwork

Any sports fan knows – it’s not necessarily the team with the strongest individual players that wins the game – it’s the one that best manages both predictable and unpredictable situations on the field. Of course, all athletes are fine-tuned machines in their own right, but at the end of the day, it’s good team play, timing, and...
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11 Jul 2014

I’ve been thinking

Over the last few years I’ve spent an enormous amount of time trying to better understand the thought process that led Joseph Pilates to create his work, in an effort to give more integrity to my teaching, and ultimately feel better about using his name to delineate what I practice and teach. Trying to make intellectual sense of something...
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26 Sep 2013

The Universal Reformer

re·form [riˈfôrm] verb: To improve by alteration, correction of error, or removal of defects; put into a better form or condition. When Joseph Pilates (1883-1967) created his method of exercise, he was on the humble mission to reform the world, one body at a time. Following a lifetime of studying the human body and movement,...
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8 Sep 2013

“Contrology is…”

It started with a fascination over the historical videos of physical culturist Joseph Pilates and the demonstrations of his Mat exercises, continued with the realization of the remarkable consistencies in how his work was to be executed way back before “Pilates” became “a thing”, and ended up in some of the most fun we had...
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16 Aug 2013

Defining Pilates

If you are in the business of teaching Pilates, you’ll likely spend enormous amounts of time trying to define what Pilates is, so that you can effortlessly communicate it to family and friends, current and prospective students, other fitness and health professionals, and if you are anything like me — yourself. You likely noticed that...
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