weights/springs, pull/push, rocking/rolling

Chat and questions regarding Pilates or the "Introduction to the work of Joseph H. Pilates"
saintloup
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2020 3:04 pm

Re: weights/springs, pull/push, rocking/rolling

Post by saintloup »

LOL. Perhaps the only time in history a conversation about pilates pedagogy has veered into linguistics. Love it! :D
saintloup
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2020 3:04 pm

Re: weights/springs, pull/push, rocking/rolling

Post by saintloup »

Obviously on an old thread, but I'm just now reading though the last year's posts.

Awesome discussion.

Fascinating and relevant to think about the language comparison. (And I love that we are language nerds in addition to pilates aficionados!)

All of a language's rules have historical reasons for being. In part or whole, tenses and moods and vocabulary merge, die off, change definition or purpose. Languages are lived, and consequently they change.

But those changes don't happen cleanly and there is cruft left behind.

In most of the Pilates taught today, I think there is a lot of cruft. So few were actually trained by Pilates himself. Consequently much of what we "know" is mediated through other people's lives, identities, languages, experiences, selves, equipment, genders. The 1st generation teachers modified the work, then the 2nd, etc., etc. Until we're left with a set of exercises and routines that have been somewhat separated from their ur-purpose.

It's like the game "telephone" where you start out with one sentence and, after it's repeated to a series of people, it becomes something else entirely.

This is unavoidable. It's the way knowledge works.

But if we return the focus, intensely, to understanding WHY we do it this way or that, then I think we can come closest to understanding his original purpose. As we know, Pilates optimized to the nth degree. He chose to do it in a certain way because he had worked through the various permutations in the context of all the other exercises and had decided on a particular execution. It wasn't arbitrary.

Most of the exercises I have had fundamental problems with were because my body wasn't yet ready to take on the multiple challenges of that particular exercise. I didn't understand that I didn't understand. And until I was in a place where my body was ready for all the challenges offered by that exercise I couldn't "get it." By asking WHY endlessly, in conjunction with constant practice and exploration, I came to see what I was missing.

Or what I think I was missing. Who knows--my own practice, knowledge, construction necessarily evolves too.

Thank you, Javier, for giving us a forum to intellectually discuss the exercises and the method!!

Happy New Year to everyone.
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