Actually, this discipline is named after its founder Joseph Pilates. Sickly as a child, Mr. P. dedicated his life to studying and improving his and others physical fitness. He was born in Germany in 1880, moved to England in 1912 and to New York in 1925. Along the way, he developed a method of exercise that focused on breath, postural alignment and strengthening the body’ core muscles. He called his discipline “Contrololgy”.
In New York, Mr. Pilates caught on big with dancers and the performing arts community. At the time of his death in 1967, the Pilates method was best known and practiced most extensively within the dance community. After J.P.’s death some of his students opened studios of their own and the “method” as it’s known now, grew legs.
Sometime in the late ‘80’s, the Pilates method began developing mainstream appeal…eventually making its way into health clubs even here in the hinterlands. The progenitor of Pilates at the LRAC is Barbara Sarantaro who began teaching here in 2000 and fortunately for us, continues to teach here today.
Mr. Pilates taught techniques that can be done on the floor and those which use specialized equipment that he invented. The classes we hold in the studio are the floor version or “mat” classes. We also have a Pilates studio where instructors who are certified to teach using the equipment offer personal training sessions.
There is, btw, a learning curve to the Pilates method. There’s a certain way to breathe and hold the abs in place to get the most benefit from the exercises. There are also standard techniques that are done in each class such as: “the hundred”, “teaser”, “open leg balance”, etc. For this reason, the Club offers an Intro course, which is required (or at least highly recommended) before attending a mat class. But never fear, your intrepid blogger has earned his Pilates stripes, having regularly attended weekly classes for several years, several years ago.
So anyway, I went to a Pilates class this morning. It was real early. My tummy was not completely on board with the rest of the body’s decision to go to this class. It complained. I told it to “take a number”.
Our instructor this morning was Paige Perritt. Paige is an excellent and experienced instructor having taught at all four of our clubs since 2001. Along with Pilates, she also teaches, group cycling, Zumba, TBC, and Power Pump. Paige has a degree from TCU (where, by the way, she was a cheerleader when LaDamian Tomlinson played there) in Fitness Promotion and Management. She also works full time as the Director of Development for Habitat for Humanity of Pulaski County.
There was just a small group of us in class today – I’m thinking that other tummies were home resting up – maybe even (gasp) asleep. The tummies that were there worked hard though, you would have been proud of us.
The $25 gift certificate from this morning’s class goes to Ana Selva.
Next up – the Kids Zumba class – mercifully only 30 minutes long. Check in with you after that.