everywhere, from Oprah to QVC, from cruise ships to local studios. But
the quality of Pilates instruction varies widely, so today's Pilates
enthusiast needs to make sure they're getting the best that Pilates has
Pilates was well-known to professional dancers and athletes, who used
what's come to be called "The Method" to heal injuries and improve
their bodies. Today, people have discovered that The Method works just
as well for the rest of us as it does for those professionals. It
only operated one studio, in New York City, where he taught what he
called "Contrology." It was only a few years ago, after a contentious
lawsuit, that the name "Pilates" was able to be used in the way
we use it today.
Pilates original studio was passed down to his protege, Romana
Kryzanowska, although he had trained several other people as well. All of
these early students, collectively and affectionately, are known as the
Pilates elders. Romana herself is in her 80's, and still gives
demanding classes and work-outs that put younger people to shame.
Other elders, such as the dancer Ron Fletcher, have developed their own
adaptations of pilates.
In broad strokes, there are now several "types" of Pilates, known by their centers
of teaching: the New York, West Coast and Colorado schools. There are also many types of Pilates, from "classical" (i.e. true to Pilates teachings) and reform (with new exercises and techniques developed by some of today's masters). There are
also many levels and types of teacher training, so there's a wide
variety of teachers out there, from people who've taken a cursory
training, to those who've gone through multi-year intensive programs.
of exercises Joe Pilates developed years ago still stand, but how
they're taught, and the experience a teacher brings to your lesson,
will determine how much you get out of your Pilates experience. If
you've done Pilates in a typical gym, your first lesson in Privately
Pilates will show you what we mean.