No equipment Pilates standing work

Chat and questions regarding Pilates or the "Introduction to the work of Joseph H. Pilates"
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AlainG
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2021 10:47 pm

No equipment Pilates standing work

Post by AlainG »

Hi Javier,
Do you know if there is written documents, films, photos, or evidences about Pilates standing work (without equipment) other than the film about Jacob Pillow in 1932?

In Brazil, it´s starting the teaching of Pilates standing work entirely based on this Jacob Pillow film.
I myself practice some selected moves or sequences from that source.
As it contains the same dynamics, in another format, that I practice in my martial art routines.
And I appreciate its results.

As I work on home office, I prefer standing work in between two classes on-line, like 15 or 20 mn exercises.
I feel the need to be mainly standing in those intervals.
And an impulse for moving rhythmically with springiness.
It gives me a pump, that I try to repeat as often as I can.
Generally, 4 to 5 times during the course of the day and evening.
I tend to reserve equipment practice for the morning or the evening, when I have longer time before and/or after classes.

The Jacob Pillow´s film presents a consistent material for standing work in sequences.
I do some arm variations and lunges and squats.
Curious about how Joseph Pilates approached this dimension of practice...

Greetings!

Javier
Site Admin
Posts: 44
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:38 pm

Re: No equipment Pilates standing work

Post by Javier »

Hello Alain,
There are many series standing. With and without equipment. Furthermore, every workout should finish standing. Whether you are doing the 'contraction' series, the punches, the jumps, the balances, the Arm Springs (referring to the equipment, not just arm exercises) series standing, or the many exercises standing in the Reformer, Chair and, yes, even the Table has standing exercises, not only they should be performed more often, but they should be the natural ending of a good progression in a session.

Nowadays, they are all 'reviving' everything, desperately trying to be 'original' and fresh. I have been teaching those routines almost two decades and while they may be all new and trendy they are one more proof of how much they all took away.
Again, standing is the natural way to end the session. If possible, every session. Refreshed and invigorated.
You can choose from the various series standing (some included in the Jacob's Pillow video) they are all good. Joseph used to exclude the ladies from doing the punch series. Clients love that series, trainers don't. Most clients are open to the exercises. Trainers invested too much time and effort selling a lot of BS that doesn't match with them.
I love them because, like the clients, I feel like a superhero when I do them. They energize the WHOLE body so efficiently.

And again: do not dissect. No dimensions in practice. Everything is practice and you practice everything. You are your whole body and you do not divide yourself in body parts (your brain doesn't call your right leg "the right leg") and you don't approach movement different because you happen to be sitting or lying down. You always try to approach everything from the movement side. What is the movement precisely -not how you precisely produce it or what situation you are in. And you find as many 'situations' as possible. Lying down, sitting, kneeling, standing... the main thing to remember is to cover as many movements as possible in every situation and as many different kinds of dynamics as possible. From a balance, to a jump, from a turn to a raise. You move purposely in every conceivable way.

If you can you also use equipment and often because in life we handle things and we often move pushing, lifting, pressing things that are outside our bodies and it is good to deal with 'obstacles'.

For a long time they hid these exercises because they didn't look that unique or pretty and other exercises made Pilates look more unique and distinct from other methods.

Now we pulled the cat out of the bag... he he he... so for now let them copy the videos. Is very good for them.
There are more exercises than the one from the video in 1932. And we teach them regularly and in the simplest manner. Eventually I will explain most of them. If the Corona pandemic doesn't bankrupt me before... and lately is becoming a possibility. But I want to show them with different body types performing them...

Keep moving. Keep healthy and especially, stay happy.
Greetings.
Javier

AlainG
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2021 10:47 pm

Re: No equipment Pilates standing work

Post by AlainG »

Thank you for this post, Javier.
Every bit of knowledge.
May it continues to be transmitted!
Greetings,
Alain

Javier
Site Admin
Posts: 44
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:38 pm

Re: No equipment Pilates standing work

Post by Javier »

Hello Alain,
Sorry for the previous post, it was a little 'catty'. Just a few days ago I was teaching those exercises -I always use some of the standing Pilates exercises before the group Mats and I always finish with the more advanced ones- and someone who joined the group was upset that I was doing gymnastics instead of Pilates and another new 'recruit' was very 'needy' and asking why her instructors did not teach her the exercises... I must say they were both Pilates trainers. Some 'enlightened' yoga people also do not like them: too rough and common, they forget that yoga is common exercise too, and that is what makes it so wonderful. Sometimes I get a little tired of both the lack of knowledge and the emphasis on whatever is trendy: many are only doing the exercises now because is trendy to do the 'original' stuff... so your question came at a 'touchy' time.

And that is the very beauty of them: it shows how all exercises methods draw from the same sources and how exercises are limited by the very way humans move. You can see in these exercises how important the back and the extremities are and how close the exercises are to other methods you may know. They also show beautifully the connection of Joseph to the methods of his time.
Because of the fact that they do not look particularly different or especial to Pilates they receive very little 'love'. If you saw people on the park doing them you wouldn't think that they were doing Pilates and yet they would be WAY closer to doing Pilates that those on the floor doing endless 'core' repetitions, feeling their Transversus abdominis kidding themselves into thinking they are moving better and achieving control...

As you can see, you recognize in those exercises many things you know. If you use what you know about any method to move -not to think or to compare, dissect, study...- you will always get to the source of what movement is. Whichever method you use.

We can always experiment, take a mental excursion and think and compare, observe and comment, etc, the intellect can have its moment, but we should not do it while we practice because in practice we are training the body to move and that is what we should do. Trust that not even knowing every score ever written you can still make wonderfully perfect music.

I won't go into the list of exercises because it will take me too long. I will share them but now I am very busy with other exercises... I am not being secretive...

The one fun thing about this exercises is that many Pilates trainers abhor them and they themselves are now 'archival' masters so they have to acknowledge them too to their chagrin... he he... they don't fit in their 'idea' of Pilates. Or at least in the 'image' of Pilates that they sell. Coming from a martial arts world you will find it very easy to understand and no at all contradictory to human physical training.

Greetings
Javier

AlainG
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2021 10:47 pm

Re: No equipment Pilates standing work

Post by AlainG »

Thanks again Javier.
I don´t think you are being secretive at all.
You offer very much knowledge on this site and forum!
Precious.
I have to say that it changes progressively the way I see and understand Pilates method.

Since the beginning of our "pandemic era", I´m more than ever sitting long hours each day for home office.
I walk less, I stand less.
So, I feel the urge to do standing exercises as much as possible, by rather short intervals.
And with a springiness dynamism.
The exercises from the 1932 (?) Jacob Pillow´s video feel very good to me for that reason.
High energy, but not at the expense of being tired after completing them!
Those exercises go to the core (no, not that one!!).
I like them.

As you have said, movement is movement.
Be it lying, crawling, sitting, kneeing, standing...
Each situation informs the other.
Same for equipment and no equipment work.
I really like all of those "labyrinthic" possibilities.
I allows me to remain fresh while practicing.
For example, for now, I´m using more the mat and also doing standing exercises, in detriment of the reformer and most other equipment.
At some point, I will change again somewhat that balance.

I will be waiting for more informations about standing exercises.
Any exercise can be an inspiration.
Greetings!

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