"Pilates is so easy."
"Oh, so you're like, a yoga teacher?"
"Pilates is just for girls."
"Pilates is just stretching."
Listed above are only a few of the common phrases/questions that we, as Pilates Instructors, hear quite often. The list goes on, but you get the point. Joseph Pilates, the mastermind behind this highly intelligent lifestyle, initially invented the movement for wounded German soldiers. Yup, you read that right - a man created Pilates for men. So, why in the world would it be JUST for women? Of course, the whole point of this article is not to talk about why we need to see more men doing Pilates (even though we do). We want to highlight what Pilates actually is and shed some light on how each person, regardless of age, sex, activity level, and fitness aspirations, can benefit from it.
You might have noticed that earlier, I called Pilates a lifestyle. And that is exactly what it is. Recently, I had a new client come to me after a hip replacement and he (yes, a HE!), said "So, how long do people actually do this [Pilates] for?" I realized I had never been asked that question before, but my answer came easily and without hesitation, "Well, people don't come to us to simply get over something and leave once they feel better. It is a lifestyle, it is never mastered and there are always ways to continue to challenge." Yes, people may initially come to us because of a specific injury or pain. But what keeps them coming after that injury has long healed, is the realization of their new-found strength in ways they never thought possible. The realization that this is a practice, and just like anything else, if you stop practicing, that strength goes away, and maybe that same injury returns. Which is why the importance of making Pilates a routine in your life cannot be underestimated. Our lovely Kaylyn said it perfectly "It's about bringing awareness from Pilates and translating it into life in order to live comfortably. Not just to look a certain way." We don't only heal - we make you the strongest version of yourself , so you can be your best self inside and out of the studio.
Which brings me to address the myth that Pilates is easy (*eye roll commence*). Whoever said that was either in a fake Pilates class (unfortunately, they exist), had a poorly-trained instructor (those exist, too), was zoning out, or was in too huge of a class that the teacher simply couldn't make it around the entire room. In Pilates, less is usually more, it's about the subtleties. Usually, it takes one simple tactile, visual, or verbal cue that can change the entire exercise and leave you shaking for a long time! It is entirely about quality of movement and if the integrity of the exercise is missing, it becomes mindless movement. Pilates has been deemed "mindful movement" for a reason, which is part of the beautiful challenge we face while practicing. It was created with the idea that the mind connects to and controls specific muscles. The mind-body connection paired with a smaller class size and a highly-trained instructor makes all the difference in the world!
I know this article has been all about Pilates, but I'm not saying that we should ONLY do Pilates everyday - absolutely not! There is a reason that we offer cardio and strength classes on top of Pilates. Life is all about balance, right? So, because our exercise regimen is part of our lifestyle, it must also be balanced! The reason I am addressing this is because another comment we hear often is that people do not need or want Pilates because they don't think they are getting enough cardio to lose weight. Now, I am the first person to tell a new client that if they really want to lose weight, they must keep their workouts varied. Doing Pilates alone will help gain and strengthen lean muscle, while simultaneously burning fat. Ultimately though, you will plateau. With any exercise form, it is important to mix up your regimen to see optimal results. BUT, with that being said - you also cannot solely rely on cardio. Muscle burns more calories than fat, so when you have more muscle, you burn more calories. Therefore, yes, you need Pilates to gain muscle to burn more calories, but you also need to add cardio in the mix on top of that. At Pure Power Pilates, we are bridging the gap between Pilates and Fitness, so that you can get the best benefits from both worlds.
Last but not least, I want to highlight that Pilates does not discriminate. As I mentioned earlier, Pilates is truly for every single body, which I cannot say truthfully about any other form of exercise. The Pilates clientele is vast and varied from Professional athletes to rehab clients, from young Olympic hopefuls, to 90+ year olds trying to improve body mechanics. There is something for every age, every occupation, every lifestyle. We promise to debunk any and all of those myths you may have heard that ever made you think twice about signing up for that Pilates class!