EBP is Classical Pilates

When we see Pilates in a news headline, it is almost always being referred to as the workout of choice for Hollywood celebrities, and while it is true that some of our favorite red carpet starlets hit the reformer to stay in shape, I want to point out why Pilates is not an exclusive practice, but rather, is a workout for everyone.

Classical Pilates founder, Joseph H. Pilates, originally named the practice we know today, “Contrology”. His goal was to place emphasis on the connection between the mind and the body by strengthening the body’s core muscle groups: the abdominals, back, and pelvis in multiple planes. These muscle groups are imperative to our spinal health, balance and overall strength of the body. To put it simply, Joe Pilates defined his total body exercise system as: “Contrology… the complete coordination of the body, mind and spirit.”  

Classical Pilates has 6 principles, and centering describes this mind-body connection as an understanding that all movements originate from the core. The beauty of the Pilates principles is that ANYONE can use them in their workouts, work environment and in daily life. With continued Pilates practice, the core muscle groups become stronger and studies show that as a result, you’ll store less fat in your midsection (2016 Study published in Physical Therapy Science). It’s no wonder then, why our favorite starlets are flocking to their closest Pilates studio.

While Joe Pilates developed the original system in the 1920s, his program has transformed over time, leading to two types of practice- classical and contemporary. Classical Pilates is practiced in a way that is as close to Joe’s original sequence as possible. On the other hand, more contemporary Pilates workouts use classical Pilates techniques as a starting point, and then add or modify the class sequence to include more repetitions, additional props like stretching bands, stability balls, or even new exercises all together.

Regardless of the type of Pilates you practice, the premise of building a connection between the mind and body is key to ensuring you will get a true Pilates workout. You should always be sure that your instructor is certified, and do your due diligence when it comes to finding the right Pilates class for you.  A qualified Pilates instructor will have completed a comprehensive program accredited by the Pilates Method Alliance and will have completed a minimum of 400 hours of apprenticing and rigorous exams.  Sampling both equipment and mat classes at a number of studios or gyms will help you get a feel for what you’re looking for in your Pilates journey.

What kind of Pilates is taught at EBP?

At Empowered Body Pilates, we teach in the classical method. Our mantra is that before you can unleash the body, you must empower the mind. This mission is a testament to the notion that the connection between the mind and body is tremendous. In each of our group and individual sessions, EBP training will feature the traditional Pilates sequence, with specialized modifications for your body and fitness level if needed.

Reformer and Mat Options

At our studio, we have several opportunities for you to get onto a Pilates reformer. Whether it is your first time taking a Pilates class, or you are a seasoned veteran, we have an option for you. If you are short on time to fit your workout in, we  offer a 40-minute session called the Lunch ReFocus by EBP, which is perfect for those days when you need efficiency in your practice.

In addition to our reformer classes, we also offer a mat Pilates option. While mat training is found more popularly among large gym chains, A true Classical Pilates mat is the most challenging component of the Pilates system.  When properly practiced Core strength is vital, as your body is completely unsupported. We at EBP encourage our clients explore all the class types we have to offer and experience the Pilates system it was intended to be.

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Related Reading

  1. Classical Confusion: Clarifying the Definition of Classical Pilates

  2. Pilates for beginners: Explore the core

  3. Here Are the Health Benefits of Pilates

  4. Does Pilates Help You Lose Weight?