Why do things change? There are many answers. The Pilates community still polarizes around a line of demarcation. The division is defined by the exact exercise system that Joe taught and is currently called “real, classical, pure, original” Pilates. The other camp is called “innovative, neo-classical, evolved, or rehabilitative” Pilates.
Why do things change? We change.
I love to read. I have been revisiting the classics. Most of these books were read when I was in high school. I admired Eustacia Vye in Thomas Hardy’s Return of the Native. There was the glamour of a mysterious woman who would wander the heath at night. I loved the narrative and I empathized with Eustacia. On this last read, I had a very different experience. I found that Eustacia was selfish and narcissistic. How did Hardy’s character change? She did not. I did. Leo Tolstoy’s, Anna Karenina also changed from a story of a tragic heroine to a neurotic drama. I loved both of these books on this last read as much as I did the first time. The difference is that I have lived longer and my experience in life has changed my perspective.
In college, read anatomy textbooks about one-celled organisms, complex vertebrates and plants. (Yes, plants have anatomy!) I was doing study at a university. Now, I am reading anatomy because I like to do so for my pleasure. The bones, muscles and organs did not evolve since 1970. I did. I now have a different application that is practical in my work environment. I am teaching people about themselves in simple and useful language. For instance, one of my master teachers would wonder aloud as he taught class with great humor, that he did not understand why shoulders were always migrating to the ears. I would love to tell him that it might be our primitive gill arches are still trying to get down into our chests. Fish did not have heads and they had gills. It took a few days to adapt to dry land.
Perhaps Pilates has changed because the basic truth can support adaptability and flexibility of the list of Pilates exercises that Joe taught. I teach the same Pilates exercises that I have taught for 27 years. They look the same on the outside, but I look inside and see many more things. If I were not able to change my perspective, I would become bored at the very least. The Franklin Method Teacher Training has been a dynamic shift in awareness. I am more skilled at observation, implementation and communication.
I cannot say what constitutes Pilates. I cannot say what falls from the definition of Pilates. It does not interest me to spend my time in conjecture about such things. That can be left for the experts of purity. I can say that I enjoy teaching, learning, and applying new ideas. Work in process keeps movement vital and current. That is what I like about Pilates. It stays the same and it always changes.