Let me preference by saying this is my personal opinion.
“To gain influence over a system it is necessary to understand the structure of the system. Systems are all about component interaction, when you are dealing with a system you can never do just one going. Like a strong net, systems tend to self correct and self-stabilize unless crucial nodal regions and relationships are compromised.” -Phillip Beach
One of the things that I love about Pilates is the intelligence of the movement. Finding deeper connections. Exploring and learning from the body. The genius of the series and the system for mind, body, and spirit. This is what I love doing and guiding other people to do.
Over the past decade and a half Pilates instructors, studios and practitioners have seen an enormous growth. The infamous lawsuit of the late 90’s was a double edged sword that left the term Pilates as generic. Now that sword is murdering the integrity of Pilates, his work, and the legacy he left for us to follow in.
When Pilates became a pop fad everyone from aerobic instructors to spin teachers jumped on the bandwagon to cash in on the hype. Classes like bar method, core yoga classes, and functional strength methods use the term “pilates” or “pilates inspired” to market their classes to the public. Some movement teachers chose to add to the method and up the ante on pilates like Phillip Lagree with his Pilates Plus franchise. This franchise is growing quickly in California to be know as the celebrity Pilates workout and similar studios based on Lagree’s equipment and method are spreading like rapid fire across the country. To me these studios have done Pilates, the pilates instructor and the consumer a huge disservice by calling these classes “Pilates” at all. It is not “Pilates”. On Mr.Lagree’s own website he states:
It is very important to note that Lagree Fitness is notPilates; it is a unique, and perhaps the only, workout that EFFECTIVELY combines Strength training, Cardio, Endurance, Balance, Core, and Flexibility not only in 1 session but in each and every move. Lagree Fitness allows for maximum muscular effort while minimizing the stress on the joints, the connective tissues, and the spine.
It may be a great workout that was inspired by Pilates, but then please, for the love of Joe, call it something else. Why not put your own name on it like “The Lagree Method” or “Megaformer class”? Why choose to name your franchise “Pilates Plus”? These classes are not based on Pilates as a system. The equipment is not Pilates equipment. Most classes are taught with loud music and the teachers wearing microphones, while timing the length of duration of an exercise like a boot camp. When a student gets injured in one of these classes (which unfortunately I hear of quite frequently) they talk about how they “got injured taking Pilates”. When in fact they were not injured doing Pilates, but injured by a wolf in sheep’s clothing. If we as an industry are going to survive we must stand up to withholding the accuracy and integrity of what Pilates and “pilates equipment” is and is not.
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