As a teacher of teachers I travel interstate to share my knowledge and to create strong, informed communities of Pilates professionals. I meet such amazing, inspiring educators everywhere I go. The level of expertise is refreshing, the desire to learn and do good by our industry is humbling and everywhere I go there are pockets of studios who are paving the way for a bright future for Pilates.
But, in the shadows of the light we shine, I see darkness. And there is an undercurrent of disdain, a quiet conversation being spoken behind closed doors of these studios who put every cent back in to their own success but who are prodded by those who use our name for their own benefit with no respect for what we do.
I am talking about those who use the word Pilates behind ‘clinical’ or ‘fitness’. My gripe with this is that Pilates is Pilates. The exercises we choose for our students are appropriate for them whether they are injured, in pain, pregnant, cross training for a marathon or looking to improve their overall health. Pilates is for everyone. And our expertise as Pilates teachers means that we have the skills, the education and the understanding of movement that we can put together a Pilates program appropriate for the body we are presented with.
Pilates is not meant to be ‘prescribed’ in a clinical setting. Nor is is meant to be taught haphazardly to 15 people bouncing around on a machine to music so loud they can not hear any instruction. Pilates is a system of movement and includes many aspects including breathe, awareness, control, timing and correct execution of movement taught with precision and care, with a deep understanding of joint placement, alignment and whole body integration for optimum performance and efficiency of movement.
Clinical or fitness classes are missing the point. They have taken one part of what we do and created a sub standard option for people who are either attending only because they can claim private health or are not prepared to pay full price. As a result they are receiving a service that calls itself something that it is not.
Beware the wolf in sheeps clothing.