What is the difference between Classical and Contemporary Pilates?

In modern Pilates, there are two primary schools: Classical and Contemporary. The Classical method adheres closely to Joseph Pilates' original approach, with minor variations across different schools. Contemporary Pilates represents a fusion of the Classical method with influences from various fitness practices, such as physical therapy, yoga, boxing, and more. This approach emerged to address the challenges posed by modern lifestyles and incorporates functional movements that mimic everyday actions to enhance overall body functionality.

Classical Pilates:

Central to the Classical approach is the use of equipment designed by Joseph Pilates himself. Throughout his life, Pilates patented 26 different apparatuses, each born from his distinctive perspective on everyday objects. Classical apparatus strictly adheres to Joseph Pilates' original specifications, which he first called Contrology or the Act of Control. This method prioritizes breath, whole-body wellness, and whole-body commitment, seeking to cultivate comprehensive control over the mind, body, and spirit through orchestrated movements.

Classical Pilates is deeply rooted in Joseph Pilates' original teachings and methodology. The method has been preserved and transmitted through a generation of instructors, often referred to as "elders." These elders, who were trained directly by Pilates, infused their unique interpretations into the practice, leading to subtle variations across different schools.

Contemporary Pilates:

Unlike the strict adherence to Joseph Pilates' sequencing in the Classical method, Contemporary Pilates introduces new exercises and variations. It often incorporates props like resistance bands, Pilates rings, small balls, and foam rollers to add diversity and challenge to the workouts. These props enhance engagement, stability, and alignment, contributing to a holistic mind-body experience.

In the vibrant landscape of Modern Pilates, Classical and Contemporary methods offer distinct yet interconnected paths. Rooted in tradition or embracing innovation, these approaches harmonize the pursuit of physical and mental well-being, encapsulating Joseph Pilates' vision of holistic fitness.

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