Beginner's guide to mat Pilates

The Pilates Body: The Ultimate At-Home Guide to Strengthening, Lengthening and Toning Your Body- Without Machines - Brooke Siler

This book serves as a good beginner's guide to the basic mat Pilates as taught by the J.H.Pilates himself. And that is a very important thing to mention which I will explain in a bit more detail later on.


Brooke Siler is an incredible woman with a renowned name. She studied Pilates under the famous Romana Kryzanowska who was Pilates' disciple. She is an intelligent woman whom I admire greatly.


This book has a very good introduction to Pilates, with the basic rules and principles which is something that I always find as a good way to start a book on Pilates because people are not generally very familiar with the basic principles and the ones who are are usually glad to be reminded of them or simply appreciate it being mentioned because it is the core of everything people will learn later on.


'The Pilates Body' also contains wonderful pictures along with the informative text. This is another aspect of this book that I highly appreciate. Most people are visual beings and will only understand something if it is shown to them not just explained in words. 


Now to return to what I mentioned when I started writing this review. Brooke Siler follows Pilates' teachings blindly, which I am not saying is a bad thing but even though that man was a genius in his own time, with the advanced science and an advanced world of sports and fitness some things have changed over time. I am a Pilates instructor myself and I have studied his teachings as well as the teachings of the first and second generation after him. With all of that knowledge and with the advanced medical research I have found that some things do not sit well with me regarding his teachings. For instance, hyper extension and flexion of the spine have proven to be more harmful than beneficial over time, neutral spine position is what we should aspire to in the exercises. Also, he was a man who dealt with his disciples one on one. Always. He changed the exercises for each individual to apply it to his needs and a wanting outcome. Most Pilates instructors do not have that luxury today. We work with a group of people and we can't concentrate all of our attention to just one. We deal with working busy stressed mothers and fathers who find Pilates classes to be a small step away from their busy lifestyles so we cannot force them to work exactly as Pilates instructed. Pilates was a very strict man who demanded from people to focus all of their energy and attention to Pilates classes. We need to make the exercises as safe and harmless as possible so even if the people do not go into them wholeheartedly at least they will not suffer any long term consequences. 


And in the end I will add that I owe my overwhelming thanks and gratitude to Asja Petersen, a woman who knows of no limits, a woman with an amazing spirit and a sharp mind. She is one of the people who will lead Pilates into a new era. 



"Pilates is the complete coordination of body, mind and spirit" (J.H. Pilates), so for everyone who is trying to get or stay healthy, to get or stay fit in body and mind and who is interested in seeing their body completely transform and flourish I urge you to try Pilates and give it the chance it deserves.