Thanks Order of the Pilates Exercises: Structure vs. Creativity

Thanks Order of the Pilates Exercises: Structure vs. Creativity

The structure of the Pilates method resides in the Order of the Reformer Exercises and the Order of the Mat Exercises.

You have learned your exercises, the larger series of exercises, and the transitions that link each movement to the next.

You own it, Baby.

Now you are free to live in your body and focus on the current moment using Joe Pilates' structure to guide you.

No matter who you are, Joe knew his method better than you do.

There is much to be learned from these guidelines, from the order of the cohesive system he laid out for us.

Joe has given us a structure within which both teacher and practitioner can thrive.

For the teacher, the order of the exercises is your assessment of the body in front of you. As the student continues through their set of exercises, the body reveals itself.

The execution of the exercises uncovers the secret of where the body is today.

Boundaries are your BFF

The idea that discipline and creativity are at odds with one another is a new view, maybe 150 years old. Previously, art was seen to grow from discipline, dedication, skill, and mastery, cultivated in years of apprenticeship.

Repetitio est Mater Studiorum

Repetition is the mother of all learning.

It is through repeated experience of the Pilates exercises that the changes in the body are revealed.

Whadaya say, Joe?

Return to Life, Joe Pilates' Manifesto-Plus-Mat-Exercises, is chock full of quotes like this one:

Study carefully. Do not sacrifice knowledge to speed in building your solid exercise regime on the foundation of Contrology. Follow instructions exactly as indicated down to the very smallest detail. There IS a reason!



Thanks, Joe.

Now choose just one thing your body needs desperately.

I'll use the example of length in the low back. This is just one possibility – perhaps my personal favorite and therefore I mention it – but the possibilities are endless.

This is the part where you can get creative.

One variable task to focus on for today?


This is your creativity and freedom at work now!

Within your structure you are free to focus on and create length in the low back in every exercise. You know the movements of the exercises – that knowledge is committed to memory.

Now you can fully focus your mind on your body and find out where it is today.

Only within your structure can you be truly free.

The Art of Pilates

In any given piece of music from the greats, Beethoven, Chopin, Brahms, Joplin, Gershwin, the artist works within the structure of the music to build their art.

The notes do not change, nor does the time signature or the key. Yet every artist will add their own creativity to the music.

Creativity comes from limits, not freedom. Freedom, I think you don’t know what to do with yourself. Jon Stewart


Practice Scenarios to make you go ‘Hmmm…'

Here are some suggestions for ONE thing to focus on during the structure of your Pilates workout.

Decide what apparatus you will use for your workout.

It's nice to have at least a chunk of Reformer or Mat to use to really get moving, warm and fabulous. Use the order of exercises to focus your mind and really move.

Have a favorite focus?

Share your secrets in a comment below.

Let's workout. You know you want to.

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