What do you wish more people knew about Pilates?
What I wish more people knew about Pilates is that each apparatus is a specific tool to help with a specific issue in a specific situation. Joseph Pilates invented his apparatus with specific students in mind. They are form-fitted and tailor-made.
The majority of people only know mat Pilates, they're not even aware that there is apparatus involved. Then there is a certain group of people who have heard of the Reformer. People contact my studio and ask if we offer "Reformer Pilates". I try to explain to them that yes, we do have Reformers but we also have a Ladder Barrel, a Trapeze Table, Spine Correctors, Chairs and many other apparatuses, and that we use whatever equipment is necessary to work on the area of the body we want to work on. Some of them insist that they only want to work on the Reformer because someone recommended that they would benefit from it. (I suspect that that other person meant to do Reformer instead of mat work, which I would agree with.)
If I want to hang a picture, I need a hammer to put the nail in the wall. I won't get far with scissors or a wrench. Equally, if I want to improve spine mobility, the curved apparatuses like big and small barrels will be better suited than the rectangular Reformer with a flat surface. Pilates teachers are trained to recognize what the body in front of them needs and have learned the best tools (exercises) to help them. Please trust your instructor.
Lastly, I wish people knew that bad posture of all sorts, even bow legs or knock knees (as long as they're not bony deformations) can be corrected. I wish more people knew that there is a middle path between suffering the pain and having surgery. Gentle intelligent movement by the name of Pilates will help them feel better. I wish more people knew that there is no need for them to skip their session when something's aching. The goal of Pilates is to make you feel better after class, not aggravate your symptoms.
Mara Sievers, NCPT
PMA Member since 2011
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