Well, I suppose it’s time for me to write this. I thought I was going to write about the buttocks or knee stretches today, but…when I saw the number of searches for “Pilates Disagreements” that led people to this blog…I knew that I had to write this first. The buttocks and knee stretches will have to wait.
This is an opinion piece. You certainly don’t need to think the way that I do or agree, but please do remember to be kind if you wish to comment your disagreement. Be an adult. Be a teacher, healer, human. Yes…be human. And do read…digest…think.
When I first started teaching Pilates, I was so excited! (Those who know me know that I am still extremely excited!) Specifically, I was excited to be with other people who just want to help! Help people feel better, stronger and able. There were many options for how I could do this. Before choosing Pilates, I was considering being an orthopedic surgeon, a physical therapist…but Pilates seemed a way to help people in a day to day organic way. It is. And I was thrilled with my choice. Until…
Until I realized how much horrendous in-fighting there was. I was shocked. Disappointed. Horrified, even? What had I entered into? I was disgusted. How could people under the guise of teacher be so petty? Fighting over differences of how to do The Tree or what the name of an exercise is or who has the right to call themselves a Pilates teacher? I saw such disreputable behavior that I became embarrassed to be in this community.
At the time, I had also recognized my own elitist Pilates upbringing. I was taught to believe that the only Pilates was the style that I was doing and that the rest was horrific and should not even be called “Pilates. I was taught to believe that the only apparatus to work on was the one I was working on and the rest was a waste. I was taught to believe that the people who would teach these other styles and work on these other apparatus were bad people. I was taught these things.
Being the good little girl that I was, I listened to my teacher who held herself above all others. I believed what she believed. Until…
Until I spent time with these horrible people…and found they are nothing close to horrible.
And saw the supposedly horrible things these horrible people were doing…and found out that they were also nothing close to horrible.
And worked on this supposedly horrible apparatus…and found out that they, too, were nothing close to horrible.
They were different…
Is different horrible?
Could it be possible…could it be possible that there might be good people doing good work on good apparatus that is different than what you do? And…could it even be possible that maybe some of them might be doing great work…maybe even somethings that I could learn from? Is it possible that I’ve been taught to be close-minded?
You see, there was this time I was partially paralyzed. I would lie in my physical therapy office with electro-stim on or ice or any number of things…there for a long time outside of the owner’s office where I would hear him on the phone talking about some intense lawsuit he was part of. It was early in this lawsuit that I later learned was “The Lawsuit”. The conversations were supremely heated. I could do nothing but lay there (paralyzed) and listen. Why wouldn’t I listen? It was all that I could do. And wonder what the heck was going on.
Sure enough, I learned, when I was training to teach that this lawsuit was still going on and it had to do with that particular man I had heard believing that he should have the rights to the name “Pilates” and that Pilates was just one thing. People moan and moan that this man or, rather, they say “We”…”We lost the lawsuit!”
What was lost? Something that didn’t belong to anyone at all anyway. What is “Pilates” but a made up name. Mr. Pilates himself didn’t even call his work “Pilates”. He did “Contrology”. That is what ought to have been solidified as something that Mr. Pilates created. And what people who say “we lost the lawsuit” are doing and teaching is rather different than what Mr. Pilates did anyway. (It is…take a look at archival footage and you will see how different it is from what you do.) So…what’s the big deal? And look how it’s divided everyone…a bunch of people who promise to help are all fighting over stupidity.
Yes…I did just judge and call it stupidity. Because you see…I have given myself the gift that most people who still squabble about this stuff have not…I have taken sessions and workshops and had tea, drinks, lunch, dinner with so many teachers who teach differently than I do. Who have had different training experiences. Who were on the “opposite side” of “The Lawsuit” and you know what? They are all fantastic people. (Of course, there are lousy people, too, don’t get me wrong.) Do I have to agree with their version of The Short Spine? No. Do I have to agree with anything? No. But maybe I will see that they are helping other people. Maybe I will see that they are smart and thoughtful. Maybe…
And maybe those people from “the other side of The Lawsuit” will find value in me. Maybe we all can find value in each other.
I guess what I’m getting at…is what are people disagreeing about? Why can’t you just go do your thing and do it well. Didn’t the Pilates world actually expand into super-popularity during this time of “The Lawsuit”? Doesn’t our diversity help the public at large because not everyone reacts positively to the same thing. We’re all needing different styles of personalities to “connect to”…maybe even different personalities of exercise. Why is your way the only way? Really? Really. Why do you think your way is the only way. Narcissistic, don’t you think?
And…I know some get really upset that some teachers don’t know the difference between what Mr. Pilates created and what someone else did. Well…is that really your problem? It’s so very not your problem. Why are you spending energy on something that doesn’t actually matter?
And some get upset that there are others who don’t believe that what they do has value. Is that really your problem either?
Why not just stick to what you’re doing, explore your education, be a critical thinker and remember why you came to Pilates in the first place?
I recall that I came to Pilates because I wanted to help people feel better and stronger. It just so happens I was in a particular studio and learned a particular style that was available to me. I make decisions every day that inform how I will teach. I continue my education in many different ways…outside of Pilates itself…and use that education to inform my Pilates teaching. I try to meet as many different people as I can and explore their different thought processes…in and out of Pilates. I encourage you to do something of the sort for yourself.
You can’t really teach anything of consequence if your experience is limited.
Yes…that is an educated judgement. You simply have nothing to share if you have not explored outside of your small box. Indoctrination does not a teacher make.
A little kumbayah, my friends, in the sense of “can’t we all just be friends?” What’s the big deal anyway? It’s time to stop demonizing “the other”, see our similarities and appreciate differences. Picking “the other” apart is simply ridiculous at this point. Grow up. It’s just a sign of lack of confidence. The people who do that in the on-line forums…I know them well…as charlatans (great word for “Faker”). They don’t know what they’re doing in the first place. They attack out of fear.
People of all styles of Pilates all around the world…just practice, study, learn, accept and grow.
***As always…if you have any questions or comments, please leave them in the comment section below. I’d love to hear from you and share with our colleagues! and…
Below is info on:
The Music of Pilates downloadable workshop
Pilates Teacher Intensives in Boston and NYC!
Workshops – Sessions – Downloadable Products…
Please take a look at THE MUSIC OF PILATES. It’s an aural workshop and manual of Joseph Pilates’ actual rhythms for the mat and reformer exercises. These rhythms and accents will make your teaching more effective and your clients’ experience much easier.
Though this is using Joseph Pilates’ rhythms…this work applies to all styles of Pilates. It’s universal.
In this workshop, you will learn…
1 – the value and purpose of each of the Mat and Reformer exercises at what is commonly referred to as the “Advanced” exercises
2 – the rhythm and accents that Mr. Pilates coordinated with these exercises
3 – the purpose of those rhythms and accents
4 – how to count the rhythm of each exercise
5 – how to coordinate the counts with each movement of each exercise
6 – how to teach in rhythm and create a successful workout
We all need tools to make teaching and learning easier…this is a great one!
More information: http://www.TheVerticalWorkshop.com/html.showcase.php
Want a free sample? http://www.TheVerticalWorkshop.com/html.showcase.php
(And…you will see a link to it all in the sidebar of this blog)
Full info listed under “Workshop Calendar” at http://www.TheVerticalWorkshop.com
Fair Haven, NJ: October 20
Birkerød (Near Copenhagen), DENMARK: November 8-10
And more to come in 2014 including Austria (near Vienna) in February, Italy (near Venice) in March, Miami, FL in May and so so so much more!.
The Vertical Workshop Pilates Teacher Intensives:
Boston begins: November 15-17, 2013
NYC begins: January 31, February 1-2, 2014
email info@TheVerticalWorkshop.com for information!
Workshops at your studio?
Sure…Just ask: info@TheVerticalWorkshop.com and I’ll be glad to discuss the details!
Entry filed under: Uncategorized. Tags: anatomy, anterior tilt, Balanced Body, Basil, Biomechanics, biotensegrity, bow-legged, bowed legs, Brooke Siler, butt, buttocks, classical Pilates, Clients, Contrology, core strength, cueing, Dr. Stephen M. Levin, duet sessions, Exercise, Exercise Physiology, fitness, Gray's Anatomy, group classes, hip flexors, Intensive, Intensives, Intuition, Joseph H. Pilates, Los Angeles Pilates, mat class, Musical Pilates, narrow sit bones, Netter, neutral pelvis, neutral spine, New York Pilates, Newspeak, Personal Training, Pilates, Pilates butt, Pilates Clients, Pilates Day, Pilates Day 2010, Pilates Designs by Basil, Pilates in gyms, pilates instructor, Pilates Intensive, Pilates Master, Pilates Master Program, Pilates Masters, Pilates Masters Program, Pilates mat class, Pilates on Fifth, pilates sessions, Pilates Style, pilates teacher, Pilates Teacher Intensives, Pilates World Games, Pilatespeak, posterior tilt, Power Pilates, powerhouse, professional, Real Pilates, Return to Life Through Contrology, Return to Life Through Pilates, Rhinebeck Pilates, Rhythm, semi-private sessions, Shari Berkowitz, shoulder blades, sit bones, squeeze sit bones, Stott, Teacher Intensives, The Music of Pilates, the vertical workshop, The Vertical Workshop Pilates Teacher Intensive, TVWPTI, Universal Pilates System, Winsor Pilates, Your Health.