by Erica Lukes | Master Pilates Instructor
Every time a new client walks into to the studio, I ask them if they have tried Pilates. IF they answer yes, then I ask what kind of Pilates they have tried. An overwhelming majority of clients who have tried Pilates before, do not know what the important differences are between methodologies. Over the decades, Pilates has become watered down and many of the fine intricatcies and deeper aspects of his work have long been forgotten. Not only is this leading to injuries but the most important benefits of this work are not discovered by clients.
About Joesph Pilates
His original work was called "Contrology" and this was not an exercise program that spent an hour "finding neutral pelvis". This was intense, vigorous and controlled movement.
Pilates quickly built a reputation as the go to man for all of the dancers in New York. They all knew that Contrology would build strength and help keep them injury free so they could find longevity in their careers.
When Pilates passed away in 1969, he had no living heirs but his work was carried on by a group of people who had trained directly with Joesph and his wife Clara. Each of these people (the elders) took away different aspects of his work and they each began teaching all over the world carrying on his legacy.
In the mid 90's, I began extensive research about the different education programs. At the time, there were no Pilates certification programs in Utah. It was critical for me to find the most comprehensive and progressive program since I was investigating money not only for education but to relocate while I completed my training. I was drawn to The Method ® Pilates because the world's best and most progressive teachers were trained in The Method. I packed my bags, headed for Santa Fe and started my certification.
The History of The Method ® Pilates
The legendary Eve Gentry was a modern dancer and an original disciple of Joesph Pilates.
When Gentry first found Joesph Pilates, she had chronic back and knee problems. After finding significant relief, she began teaching at the original Pilates studio in New York. She taught at the studio from 1938 to 1968.
Later in her life, she founded the Dance Notation Bureau in New York City. In 1991 Eve worked with Joan Breibart and Michele Larsson to establish the Institute for the Pilates Method in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
The Method ® Pilates was the world's first program to offer an instructor certification program, complete with a detailed breakdown of each Pilates exercise on the Mat, Trapeze Table, Chair, Reformer and Barrel. It is in my humble opinion, still the best program on the market today.