Even though the exercise method, Pilates, has been around for over a 100 years there is still this lingering connotation that Pilates is only for a certain group of people. As a Pilates teacher I often hear "Pilates is too hard" or "I need to get in shape before trying Pilates". I understand why some feel this way. If you look at images of Pilates students or teachers online, you would think that we were all white women with a dancer's body - not true. Seriously, google the word "Pilates" and select images to see for yourself. I don't fit into that category at all as a black woman with an athletic build and absolutely no dance background. However, after trying one class I knew that Pilates would be key to my longevity as a massage therapist. This led me to become a Pilates teacher so that I could help REAL people feel strong and aware of their bodies. Pilates meets you where you are and is a tool to help you reach your fitness goals. Now let's debunk some Pilates myths so that you too will give Pilates a try.
Pilates is for Women.
Pilates was created by a man, Joseph Pilates, for men. He was a boxer NOT a dancer. His studio was near the New York Ballet so it attracted many dancers (male and female) but he also worked with the general public.
Pilates is Too Hard.
Obtaining physical fitness isn't supposed to be easy. It's supposed to challenge us both physically and mentally - Pilates does just that. The method is designed to challenge all fitness levels. Every exercise had a modification or building block. Working 1-on-1 with a certified Pilates teacher is a great way to work safely towards your fitness goals.
Pilates is for Young, Fit People.
Being flexible and strong is not a prerequisite to learning Pilates. It is often recommended by physical therapists to do Pilates to help strengthen and tone the body. There are Pilates programs specifically for working with seniors, those with scoliosis, arthritis, hip/knee injuries and other health related issues.
Pilates is Like Yoga.
Yes, they both focus on the mind body connection but they are too totally different practices. The approach to movement and breathing is different. The exercises themselves are different. Pilates utilizes an exercise system not just mat work. In a Pilates studio you will find a wide range a equipment to help support and strengthen the body.
Pilates is Too Expensive.
Being "too expensive" is relative. We are more willing to spend money on things we value. I value the benefits I receive from doing Pilates regularly. It prevents injury, sustains my career as massage therapist and provides stress relief - it's worth it! I recommend that all students start with a couple of 1-on-1 classes to learn the work of Pilates before moving into a group class.