Classical Pilates, Modified?

Published on 10th Jul 2014
by Anna Wilson

Confused about Classical - versus - modified Pilates? Are you doing the best Pilates for your own body?

I see so much confusion and there seems to be a misconception that Classical Pilates doesn't modify movements. A well trained Classical Pilates instructor knows the most advanced version of every Pilates movement - they also know every modification for every movement. Your Pilates class - even in a group - should be tailored to you - so that you're doing the very best Pilates available to you and your own body, which will be very different to the body working out beside you. It sounds impossible but any great teacher knows how to do this and does so whether they're teaching from a Classical or Contemporary approach.

Traditional Pilates was not created for dancers and elite athletes, it's a misconception that gets put out there a lot - they just loved it for it's benefits. A young sickly Mr. Joseph Pilates did lots of different exercises to get himself stronger and healthier. Then, when interned during WW1 he used his techniques that he'd built up over the years to rehab INJURED AND SICK SOLDIERS and to keep them HEALTHY. He moved to New York - where there happened to be a lot of injured dancers - they heard about the amazing health benefits his clients were getting from his sessions so they went to work on their injuries with Mr. Pilates.

So no - you don't need to be a dancer or elite athlete to do traditional or Classical Pilates - a great instructor might teach you so well that you become as strong and as supple as one though! They'll definitely modify what you're doing where necessary so that you're doing the best movement possible for your body too!! So my advice when choosing the best class for you? Choose the best instructor over the best brand - and make sure your instructor is well trained! Any well trained instructor, from any Pilates lineage, will only want you to do the best for your body in your Pilates class.

Anna xx

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