A student that is progressing very quickly with a mix of classes and privates has started to attend an “Advanced” Mat class that I am teaching. Really, I am just going through the repertoire as Joseph Pilates designed. From The Hundred (NOT the hundreds, there is no s!) to The Pushup we take one exercise right after the other and yes, I do teach her The Crab- it is a fantastic exercise, learn to do it from a Classical instructor! We are still working on all of the inversions in some of the sessions, but are pretty true to the way Joseph Pilates wanted his students to perform the mat exercises in the proper order and execution with lots of hands on assistance from me! She remarked at the last session after I asked if she felt Ok with all of the corrections, “I used to hate taking from you because you would make people do the exercises correctly and I just wanted to keep doing them the way I thought they were supposed to be done as fast as I could with little attention to form. After working this way (with corrections and major tactile cueing) for a very short time, I am seeing huge results in my body.”
Advantage Classical, Authentic, Real, Romana’s, however you want to call it, we can trust the Pilates method to do the job.
At Endurance, we have worked very hard, for almost three decades, refining our knowledge of the Pilates system, studying Contemporary methods based on newly designed equipment and back to the roots- on the Gratz, with two NYC apprenticeships in Pilates- learned from the sources, through oral tradition as Joseph Pilates directed on the equipment that he designed. After spending years and hundreds of thousands of dollars, we took the best of the methods and combined them to teach the Classical system at Endurance. Our goal is to get our students to flow, one exercise to the other, assuming their knowledge of the repertoire.
When the student is ready, the workout is available! That being said, we have developed some very effective methods including tactile cueing, exercises to teach pieces of full “Advanced” exercises and ways of creating the strength and stability necessary to progress in the Pilates system. The Basic is so very important, we spend most of our life somewhere slightly in the Intermediate system, even as teachers. Normally, when a student comes in and claims to be very experienced or advanced, I know that I am in for a challenge. Some folks love it and realize what we are trying to elicit via our acute attention to form, others can be offended that the 40 person group classes they have been taking for 10 years are really choreography based on Pilates versus instruction in the Pilates method. Pilates is fantastic for the body, but can be a challenge to the ego- for all of us. I get my sorry abs handed back to me every single time I get on the Mat with one of my instructors! That is how it should be- Pilates practitioners ideally move within the Pilates ideally based on the guidance of their teachers. We have a responsibility as instructors to create an experience for our students based on the body that walks through the door.
Pilates, years to learn, a lifetime to master. The more you know, the more you know you need to know!