When Balanced Body Education began in 2006 the world was quite different, and the education landscape was an open field. In order to truly understand you would need to go back a bit farther, prior to the turn of the century, to the 1980s and 90s. At that time, Pilates was a well-kept secret and only for those fortunate enough to have found a practitioner skilled in the movement art. Due to a trademark dispute, associating a practice or a studio with the word ‘Pilates’ was forbidden. In challenging the trademark, Ken Endelman opened up opportunities, and studios everywhere came out of the shadows and flourished. This is the genesis of the industry around the practice of Pilates. Once the term Pilates was free from legal confines it not only grew in popularity but also became synonymous with quality movement, health and enhanced wellbeing.
Slowly, the world was embracing the potential of Pilates. Fitness began to understand that Pilates had much to offer customers. Physical therapy understood that Pilates had much to offer patients. And Pilates Instructors were realizing there was a secret sauce in Pilates that clients sought out, loved and valued. That sauce? Education.
A Pilates education is in equal parts a tradition, a movement art, and a practice. It is a movement medium that integrates the physical body and the sensory body to meet and thrive with the demands of modern life. Joseph Pilates himself believed that “civilization impair(s) physical fitness” and that “physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness.” As the world was beginning to agree with him the need for teachers and the desire to understand how and why this practice worked grew as well.
Enter Balanced Body Education. The Balanced Body Pilates curriculum, designed and created by Nora St. John, offers students the opportunity to truly find, in themselves and in their profession, a unique voice, place and confidence as a Pilates teacher. Every manual respects the traditions and exercises as Joseph Pilates crafted them and expands the practice to include contemporary understanding of movement applications, fitness foundations and kinesiology. Every course encourages students to reason critically, challenges both the body and the mind to find, feel and experience the why behind the movement. It provides opportunity and infinite possibilities, all with the individual client needs front and center.
This expansive approach is what has attracted talented master instructors to join our network and has supported and educated many who have grown into current leadership within the industry – leaders who now continue to pay it forward with quality teaching beyond the manuals and the walls of their studios. It has opened career paths for and provided education that stimulates as well as educates.
Mind Body fitness is now seen as a necessary part of overall fitness, not as an adjunct or accessory for the elite exerciser. With the mind body industry continuing to grow, so does Balanced Body Education. With a global network of highly qualified, motivated and enthusiastic master instructors, Balanced Body Education has made Pilates Teacher Training accessible, affordable and reliable. Our Pilates on Tour conferences and online offerings provide continuing education which is open to all within the Pilates and movement communities. As a result, the field in front of us is still wide open and full of potential with education as the secret ingredient to accessing, sharing and harnessing the power that is Pilates.