My Definition of Classical Pilates

What is Classical Pilates? How is it different from Contemporary Pilates? Here is my definition of Classical Pilates…

Before I give you my definition, I would like to put out a bit of my history as a Pilates teacher and practitioner. Those of you who have worked with me at varying points in my Pilates teaching career may not have a sense of all that informs my current definition, so here we go.

I started taking Pilates in 1986 at SUNY Purchase (I was VP of finance for Student Government and we were funding the studio) under my colleagues Steve Giordano and Nancy Allison, who were trained by Romana Kryzanowska. Romana would visit on occasion, and Steve trained us to know the order of the exercises and the transitions/flow, so that we could impress her when she came. I would also make trips into the city to take sessions with her and the other full-on classical teachers.

In 1988 I moved to Philadelphia to enter a PhD program in Philosophy at Temple U, with a full graduate assistantship. In 1989 I saw an ad in the City Paper – “PT exercise instructors wanted. Pilates background preferred.” I was the only applicant who had done Pilates! And so I started working alongside Master Teacher Karen H. Carlson, who trained primarily with Pilates elder Mary Bowen.

In 1992 Karen and I both became founding members of the Institute for the Pilates Method (now PhysicalMind), under Pilates elder Eve Gentry (but then informed by all of the living elders). Eve and Michelle Larson certified me to teach in 1993. In 2000 I became a teacher trainer for PhysicalMind.

After owning award-winning studios and  teaching at Parrot Cay in Turks and Caicos, I have come full circle. Thirty years after taking my first Pilates class at Purchase, I am now back in NYC as a Master Teacher and Lead Teacher Trainer at Real Pilates in Tribeca, a leading Classical Pilates studio.

That said, here is my definition of Classical Pilates:

I define classical Pilates as teaching that is closest to the system as created and taught by Joseph Pilates. I teach with a contemporary understanding of biomechanics, but I teach Mr. Pilates’ exercises in the order he prescribed and prefer at this point to teach on Gratz. Do I modify as needed or leave out exercises that may not be appropriate? Indeed I do! Do I teach on Peak, Stott, and Balanced Body? Yes! But still with the goal of offering as close to a good, old school Pilates workout as I can. His work stands up.

So there you go! I would love to hear your definitions and your thoughts.

Review – Buddha’s Herbs Herbal Tea Sampler

Buddha’s Herbs Herbal Tea Sampler is a wonderful selection of quality, organic herbal tea blends.
5 out of 5 Stars!

If you have been reading this blog for a while, you know that I am a huge fan of Buddha’s Herbs. They are a locally owned NYC company that really cares about quality.

They recently sent me a holiday gift box of […] Continue Reading…

How to Charge for Pilates – Sessions, Packages, Monthly

How to Charge for Pilates for Teachers and Studios – Sessions, Packages, Monthly? A guide…
Once you decide how much to charge, based on the simple calculations in my Pricing Pilates post, then you need to decide how to charge for pilates.
1. Per session or package.
Historically, Pilates teachers and studios charge either by the session or in a discounted package. […] Continue Reading…

A Pilates Teacher’s Guide to Raising Prices

Here is the Pilates Teacher’s Guide to Raising Prices in 2015.
In the wake of my last two blog posts, which have started some interesting and contentious discussions in the pilates teaching community, several pilates teachers have asked for some guidance in raising their rates in 2015.

Note that I am not suggesting that you have to, or should, raise your […] Continue Reading…

Pilates Pricing – Are You Charging Enough?

The issue of Pilates pricing comes up often. How do you decide what to charge? How do you raise your prices? Read on for some suggestions.
I think that one of the biggest hurdles we face as we start and expand our Pilates personal training businesses is how much to charge.

Most Pilates pricing seems to be done haphazardly, based on […] Continue Reading…

How Big Is Your Pilates Niche?

The size of your Pilates Niche (or Fitness, Yoga, Travel…) is less important than how you serve them.
I woke up this morning to a timely e-mail from one of my marketing gurus, Seth Godin. Today’s post is titled, “Is Your Niche Too Small?”
There’s no such thing as a niche that’s too small if the people care enough.

If you think […] Continue Reading…

Some Winter Solstice Gifts for You

It’s the Winter Solstice and I have some great gifts for you!
50% off Pilates Audios
How about some portable Pilates classes for less than $5 each?

Take 50% off any or all of my Pilates Audios – approximately 30 minute workouts.

Basic Pilates Mat, Pilates for Neck Pain, Pilates for Back Pain, or Pilates with Ring & Roller.

Use code solstice2014 now thru […] Continue Reading…