Who was Pilates?

Joseph Pilates was a German boxer, yogi, gymnast and passionate physical trainer who created a mind body system of movement that has helped many since the 1920s.  As a sick child who suffered from asthma, rickets and rheumatic fever, he dedicated his entire life to improving his health from a holistic perspective.  In 1925, he and his wife Clara, taught his system of Contrology to dancers and performing artists, and they developed a strong base of followers in New York City by getting the stamp of approval from famous dancers like George Balanchine and Martha Graham.

What are the two types of Pilates?

Pilates can be done on a mat, or on the equipment.  Pilates on the mat is done in resistance to gravity.  While mat pilates is seemingly simple, it can be difficult to understand how to properly engage the correct muscular systems.  As a result, Joseph Pilates created equipment based exercises to target train and hone proper awareness to the muscles.  Most often, those who are not professional movers or lack somatic training will find it difficult to feel what they should be feeling in a pilates mat class.  It is also not appropriate for those with pre-existing medical or musculoskeletal disorders to be attending group pilates class.  Click here to read an article of how you can hurt yourself doing group mat pilates if you are not careful.  Ideally, everyone will have had undergone some kind of private training whether specialized or not before attending a group mat class.  At Sagehouse, we are experts in teaching mindful precise movement and aim to teach you how to move safely and correctly, so that you can be healthy, strong and flexible.

What is the difference between Pilates and Yoga?

Though Joseph Pilates was inspired by yoga in the creation of his system of Contrology, the key difference between the two is the innate spiritual aspect of yoga versus pilates.  Philosophically, Pilates looks at movement from a mind body perspective while Yoga connects the mind, body and spirit.  Generally speaking, Pilates movements are more contractive and contained with the focus on strength and flexibility through stability; while yogic movements are more expansive and broad with the purpose of growing one’s mental and emotional consciousness.  The two complement each other beautifully.  Many yoga practitioners are getting injured in group classes because the Ego is pushing them beyond their limits unsafely.  Pilates can teach them how to source their strength from their center.  On the flip side, Pilates practitioners tend to be more body centric, and do not approach physical fitness from a holistic perspective.  Yoga can teach them how mental and emotional clarity can enhance physical progress while opening up possibilities to an awakened consciousness.