Have you ever found yourself ask the question “What is Pilates?” Or maybe someone has asked you the question before. How did you respond? We have our own way of explaining things and hopefully all answers point back to a similar core. We could answer from a technical, textbook style which is Pilates is contrology: the complete coordination of the body, mind, and spirit. Another response is that Pilates helps uniformly develop the body with a series of exercises that focus on the body and mind working together rather than separately. Also we could say that Pilates uses machines to help strengthen the core- as well as the the smaller muscles throughout the body.
These are all great answers but now I ask you to dig deeper and find out what is Pilates in your own words and from your own experience. Here’s how I experience and define Pilates: Pilates helps you endure life’s challenges and is the mind working with the body to move in a fulfilling way which opens up the inner spirit.
Pilates brings peace inside and outside of myself. Inside it calms the ego and takes away the self doubt and worry. It brings peace to the spirit so I can be free in the mind and body. So I can walk without tension or stress. The release of tension and stress translates to the outside peace and also brings self confidence that is visible in posture and emotion. This helps bring focus to the body as a whole rather than separate parts. We often bring our focus to specific areas that trouble us- the weak, tight, or powerful ones. Let’s focus on the body as needing all parts whether they are strong or weak, flexible or inflexible.
“Your whole body is a symphony of coordinated movements.”
When performing movement think of a conductor of an orchestra. The conductor will queue the first note and follow through to the percussion and then bass line and then harmony to create a full, round sound. The body will work the same way as long as we trust it to act this way.
When we can be happy with ourselves from the inside first and then to the outside others are able to see the peace within. It’s like a light shining bright for all to see and try to capture. It’s a flame that we want to keep ignited and give heat to others. Next time you do the Pilates exercises look inside yourself for the inner peace, or flame, or symphony. You’ll be amazed what you can discover!