Pilates with small balls

There are quite ferverent opinions about the use of small apparatus such as rings and balls in the Pilates studio. Many will argue that if Joseph Pilates didn’t do it then neither should we. It’s just not Pilates otherwise. Then there’s me. I belong to the other crowd. I believe in the principles – one such being ‘centering’. Last week I talked about how being off-center (literally) can sometimes help us find the center we hadn’t realized that we’d even lost. This week I’m using the Pilates ring to help students evaluate how they execute classic exercices with and without the help/hinderance of the ring.

As a teacher, I’m not looking for perfect execution; I’m looking for body awareness; I’m looking for the lightbulb to go on. And yes, nothing is nicer than being helped up into a Teaser by the ring, but what was truly rewarding was to see students start to understand the balance and control involved in the exercise, replacing the belief that it was all about abdominal strength.