Have you ever googled Pilates and come across a load of images of young, thin, white women in crop tops doing contortionist movements and thought – ope, not for me?! While what they’re doing in most of those pictures may be Pilates (I take leave to doubt some of the movements), they don’t do a great job of representing what Pilates truly is. Pilates is not about making your body into the bendiest pretzel that ever bent. It’s not about achieving a certain look. It’s about balancing the muscles in your body so that you can move better, be more flexible, and live your life the way you want.
But you don’t just need to take my word for it. Joseph Pilates designed his program – which he called contrology – and practiced it until his death in his 80s. Here are some of the things he said about his method:
Pilates is complete coordination of body, mind and spirit.
Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness. Our interpretation of physical fitness is the attainment and maintenance of a uniformly developed body with a sound mind fully capable of naturally, easily, and satisfactorily performing our many and varied daily tasks with spontaneous zest and pleasure.
Can you imagine going about your day and doing your work with spontaneous zest and pleasure? It seems just the opposite of how most Americans approach their daily life (especially working life). But that is what being physically fit in a balanced body can give you. It’s what Pilates can give you.
I am not a size 2. I don’t think I ever was. Whenever I switched from girl clothing over to adult sizes I’m pretty sure I jumped right over size 2. There is nothing wrong with being a size 2. But there’s also nothing wrong with being a size 12 or a size 22. Pilates is not about your size. It’s not about your age or your gender. It’s about moving well and feeling good in your body! It’s about being able to do the things you want – your favorite hobbies, your activities of daily living – without struggle and pain.
Not only is health a normal condition, but it is our duty not only to attain it but to maintain it.
Joseph H. Pilates
Ready to dive in and feel the changes that Pilates can make in your life? Our 30 Day Pilates Reset is the perfect program for someone looking to make lasting changes to their health and wellness. Over the course of 30 days, you will receive 30 emails, each containing one 30-minute at-home Pilates workout. Learn more about how to get started here.