Myth: All Pilates is the same.
Fact: There are many variations and schools of discipline/thought that exist in the Pilates world. The variations exist for a few reasons with the main one being that there is a misunderstanding of the details in the work. Romana’s Pilates is as close to the original method as it gets; Joseph and Clara Pilates entrusted Romana with continuing their vision and she, in turn, has delegated specific individuals around the world to continue in her steps. There is no trademark on the term “Pilates” so you don’t need to know anything about any sort of Pilates to run a studio, and usually those studios who teach various forms will not distinguish themselves as anything other than “Pilates” (in sports terms: it’s the similar to saying that football is the same as baseball because they’re both dry-land sports). Always do your research!
Myth: “Mat Pilates”
Fact: There is no such thing as “Mat Pilates.” There is also no such thing as “Machine”/”Reformer Pilates.” True Pilates is a system which embodies all the pieces of equipment that the Master (Mr. Pilates) created in order to achieve the best results with the fastest connection to your Power-House. These apparatuses include, but are not limited to, the Reformer, the Cadillac, Wunda Chair, etc. So be wary of those who claim to teach “Mat Pilates,” or those who can’t specify the school of discipline they come from or anything of that sort.
Myth: Pilates was created for dancers
Fact: This could not be further from the truth! It is no secret that Mr. Pilates was not exactly fond of dancers, it is, therefore, quite ironic that he and Clara Pilates entrusted a professional dancer, Romana, to continue their work and that a large amount of Romana’s and non-classical instructors come from a dancing background.
Myth: Studio owners are “Masters” of the method.
Fact: The sad truth is that ANYONE can open a studio and call it Pilates (as well as consider themselves a “master”). If Romana doesn’t consider herself to be a “master” I don’t think anyone else has a right to use the term…
Myth: Mat classes are better than working on the “machines.”
Fact: Mr. Pilates did start out with mat-work however it became obvious how difficult it is for people to connect with their Power-House when doing just mat exercises. Pilates created the other systems in order to help people make sense of what the mat is meant to do and to get more out of every move.
Myth: Yoga and Pilates are the same.
Fact: There are a few key differences between the two practices including Yoga’s emphasis on breathe as a source of power while Pilates emphasizes the use of movement with some focus on specific breathe. In Pilates we refer to alignment within a “box” – shoulder to shoulder, hip to hip – all movements work within this “box,” within one’s joints so as to minimize injury. Yoga works very outside the “box.” It is true that Mr. Pilates was influenced by various forms of exercises, including Yoga, so a few concepts are similar: such as mind-body awareness. The main difference is that Yoga is not for everyone, Pilates is…
Here is a link to a great article written in the NY Times regarding the dangers of misuse of Yoga: NY Times How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body