Be More Like Joe

Joseph Pilates on Reformer

Joseph Pilates on Reformer

Innovator: a person who introduces new methods, ideas, or products. 

Joseph Hubertus Pilates was an innovator.  What if you were too?

Joseph Pilates drew inspiration not only from his knowledge of the body (he was said to have been a boxer, circus performer, and self-defense instructor) but also from his intuition.  If you’ve never seen anyone help rehabilitate a person with bed springs or create a tool for the body with a ring from a beer keg, where else would you get the idea? If you’ve never seen an Exo Chair, how do you connect the dots not only for the design but the usage?  Joseph Pilates trusted himself.  What if you did too?

According to the Pilates Foundation, Joe and his wife Clara started teaching Pilates in their body conditioning gym in 1926.  That was 95 years ago.  Skeletons and muscles are still the same as they were back then but how we move about the world is not.  In 1926, most people were not spending all day watching Netflix and mindlessly scrolling through social media.  In 1926, parents were not shuffling kids back and forth between soccer practice and piano lessons while trying to figure out how to get to Trader Joe’s during rush hour traffic and then, out of exhaustion, deciding to order Domino’s because you forgot you had a late meeting at the office. In 1926, there was no stay-at-home order, no kids in virtual school, no all-day “Zoomathons” and people probably weren’t drinking their weight in wine to cope.

Credit: Flex Studio Hong Kong

So now what?

We can all agree that the method is solid. We can also all agree that how we use our bodies is different than it used to be.  We can also all agree that we never work with two bodies that are exactly the same. The question then becomes how do we trust ourselves to shift and adjust to serve the bodies that are in front of us? When do we begin to believe that we too are knowledgeable and that the gift of innovation and intuition did not just belong to Joseph Pilates?  When do we do “something crazy” (because I’m pretty sure if I saw someone tying up some bedsheets to a bed frame and telling me it was going to help my herniated disc in some way I’d think they had lost their mind) and find a new space of healing for not only our clients but for ourselves?  When do we come out of pure “certification knowledge” and move into a space of gathering our experiences (dance, gymnastics, martial arts, personal injury, personal training, yoga, an observant eye, a “hunch”) and using that to move forward with our work?

Trusting ourselves, honoring the evolution of the times, showing gratitude for more ways to acquire resources (I mean, what if there was Google, Zoom and Amazon prime back in the day?) and realizing that beyond our fear of not knowing enough we really know enough to lead people towards a better quality of life is the key to offering the best of the foundation that Pilates offers.

Be more like Joe. The world is waiting for you.


Tasha began her fitness career selling memberships at a local gym in 2004. Since then, she has become a sought after international presenter with a focus on creating accessible wellness and movement spaces for all people. She is a comprehensively trained Pilates instructor who also teaches yoga, several group fitness modalities and is also a personal trainer and board certified health and wellness coach. Tasha has been a contributing blogger for both Balanced Body and Pilates Anytime and is also a featured instructor on John Garey TV. A Chicago native, Tasha holds degrees in both sociology and counseling and works as an employee wellness coach for a large company. She currently lives in Madison, Alabama, and is obsessed with SmartBells. Instagram: @IAmTashaEdwardsInstagram: @HipHealthyChick

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