Joseph Pilates: the man, the myth, the legend
"Daily, from sunrise to sunset, the radio, newspapers and magazines broadcast to the world how to maintain health, how to regain health... the conflicting information, expressive of the different opinions of these various health authorities , has proved to be nothing less than confusion..." -- Joseph Pilates
Joseph Pilates was driven by his passion and belief that everyone is entitled to normal health and that achieving it doesn't have to be so complicated. Its a matter of living a balanced lifestyle. He criticized "modern day society" for its contributions to "present health ills"; blaming people's relentless pursuit of material gain and social status at the expense of their well-being. And he criticized the vain attempts to return to health through the gimmicks, "serum and injections" advertised by "so-called health specialists". He believed that "it extracts money from the public without corresponding benefit to the public and for good measure... adds to their suffering and misery". He referred to it as "hocus pocus".
Sound familiar? If only he could see today's sedentary, money-driven society with its obesity epidemic and resultant health-related issues. Add to that, the myriad of quick and effortless options to stay young, fit and fabulous for a price. Mr. Pilates believed that if we merely honored the laws of nature, the path of least resistance, we would experience normal health and "the ecstasy of living". He believed in a balanced, holistic lifestyle that honors our innate need for enjoyable work, recreation with friends and family, proper exercise, rest and food as fuel. He also felt that our mind, body and spirit should function as a coordinated whole.
The more I read Mr. Pilates' words in his books "Return to Life Through Contrology" and "Your Health" I'm reminded that Pilates is a lifestyle; not just an exercise method that I'm supposed to practice for a few hours/week. I completely agree with Joe's ideal of balance and find it a constant challenge to apply. It's so easy for me to get caught up in "survival mode" and allow work to crowd everything else out that's important. My goal is to place more value on the health of my mind, body and spirit... stick to the basics... follow my intuition...honor my need for balance... live a life less complicated and less consumed with getting ahead.
Let's live Pilates and experience "the ecstasy of living".
Rock Your Powerhouse!