In the beginning of my Pilates training, I focused on learning more movements and sequencing on the equipment. Next I focused on a deeper understanding of the body and anatomy. That learning lead me to do specialized training in chronic conditions, rehab related work, pre and post- natal and general injury recovery. It is always confirmation to me that I am in the right place and doing the right thing, because I enjoy learning more and more about Pilates. Lately I have also delved a little deeper and have been learning about the Pilates legends, elders and history.
Most Pilates training will discuss the history of Pilates and Joseph Pilates. Much of what we do today with Pilates, however, has also been influenced by the 2nd generation teachers – those taught directly by Joseph Pilates. There are only a few surviving second generation teachers and I have had the opportunity to meet a couple – Mary Bowen and Lolita San Miguel.
There were several other very influential elders from the Pilates community – Kathy Grant, Ron Fletcher, Romana Kryzanowska, and Eve Gentry. Each of these individuals took what Joseph Pilates began and expanded that work, brought their personal touches and personality to it, as well as spreading the message.
So why spend time learning about these individuals and their practices? It Is simple – each of these professional spent hours, years and a lifetime educating, learning and growing Pilates. What I am learning is the reason behind some of the modifications we see to Joseph Pilates original exercises. What I am learning is also that it is ok to explore in Pilates. I am also learning what these elders considered critical versus what could be adapted. It has been fascinating to find out who is responsible for what and the why in the practice I love so much!
Don’t be surprised if I share a little Pilates trivia and history with you in your next class!