They say false power shouts but true power whispers. So, are you a shouter or a whisperer?
Up until now, expressing my thoughts has been pretty tame. These last blogs have focused mostly on the spiritual and psychological potential of the Pilates influence. Now it’s time to talk about another aspect of Pilates and a growing concern I have for the potential harm being inflicted on new students.
I believe that most instructors teaching the Pilates method feel honored to be able to pass on this brilliant work. Hopefully, they understand the awesome responsibility that goes along with being in a position of power and authority over the student. However, I’ve observed many Pilates poseurs who pass themselves off as legitimate teachers by saying, “I studied with someone who studied with someone who studied with” and dropping the names of first-generation teachers, such as Romana Kryzanowska or Jay Grimes. Year after year, students come to me for a lesson who have been taught by a “Pilates certified” instructor, and I find myself repeatedly saying, “What is that?” as some exercises are simply unrecognizable as classical Pilates movements. In addition, the technique they’ve been taught is not the Pilates technique which thereby denies the student a unique body conditioning experience.
Students who want to learn about the authentic Pilates method may not know the difference between an expert and a poseur. Just because an instructor uses the code word, “Romana”, doesn’t mean he or she has studied with Mr. Pilates’ principal disciple, as most second-generation teachers have. And when it comes to advertising, I would at least respect these poseurs if in their promotional materials they added the word, “inspired” after Pilates.
If you, the reader, are a sincere instructor and have not been trained in the original work, my message to you is to please continue your education, supplementing what you know with the original, classical teachings. When your powerhouse is engaged, it’s easier for you stay in shape and as your Pilates knowledge deepens, your body and your words will be your best advertisement.
If you, the reader, are wondering whether you are practicing the authentic method, a few questions to ask yourself. Does your teacher speak about your powerhouse? Is there a strong sense of discipline and focus in the lessons? Do you learn a specific order? Do you feel energized after your class? Btw, Mr. Pilates did not use music in his studio. He believed his exercises performed with rhythm and mindful breathing created their own music within his students.
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