Random Acts of Pilates


The longer one studies and practices the Pilates Method the more immersed one becomes in its tenets. One’s awareness can heighten to the point where every daily mechanical action of living gets filtered through the Pilates mind. I am particularly fixated on my kitchen blinds right now and reaching up to pull them down with my back rather than my arm. Perhaps I have said too much…

Consequently I relish the moments when I find myself in a decidedly non-Pilates scenario away from work: reading, watching movies, socializing, etc…and just going about my ordinary non-Pilates life (if that is possible). 

Suddenly – magically – miraculously –  a Brigadoon of something Pilates. 


Anyone…? Bueller…? Please contain your enthusiasm until the end of the post…

I like to call this phenomenon Random Acts of Pilates

Maybe you have experienced this yourselves as well. I invite you to share if you would like. These are some fun ones that happened to me recently.

1. While reading the novel 1Q84, Haruki Murakami’s “magnus opus, an epic of staggering proportions,” I came across the following (cue Twilight Zone music):

“It is simply the stretching of the muscles. I am not licensed to perform medical procedures. All I do is force people to stretch the muscles they don’t normally use or the ones that are difficult to use, and that way we prevent the deterioration of their physical strength.”

Sound familiar? I had to look over my shoulder to make sure no one was watching for my reaction.

2. A Special Pilates surprise awaits you in the Vidal Sassoon documentary film that you won’t want to miss. 

A lifelong devotee of physical fitness, Sassoon hails Pilates as a major contribution to his daily stretching routine and divulges his secret for career success on a grand scale. He maintains that in the pursuit of any industry, art or craft countless hours of work are required “if you want to become good. It is not a 9 to 5 job”. A consistent workout regime as well as massage enabled Sassoon to work 14 hour days and then do it all again day after day. The film includes footage from an unnamed talk show circa late 70’s-early 80’s. Hosted by the young Regis Philbin, this gem of a clip is eye candy for all you apparatus geeks. Feast your eyes on what is clearly a Gratz Reformer with a naked and beautifully shiny footbar! Could this possibly get any better?! Wait for it…wait for it…

As though this is not enough of an adrenaline rush, Vidal Sassoon then proceeds to hoist Philbin into the Teaser on the Long Box (whether Regis wants to go there or not). Wowzers. Following briefly afterward is a still shot of Sassoon working out, in what looks to be one of the various incarnations of Romana’s studio (he’s doing Long Back Stretch on the Reformer).
A must-see! Stream it on Netflix and pay attention around minute 57…
Check out the trailer here: http://vimeo.com/19834368

3. The television show Damages starring Glenn Close. Soooo wanted to find a clip for this, but here is the skinny…

In an episode from Season 1 Patty Hewes (Close) is working out in her home Pilates studio (!) with her instructor (a man!). She is doing the exercise on the Cadillac called Breathing (yay! an actual Pilates exercise!). Her trainer is very fawning, flowery and obsequious in his cues and corrections for her until finally she (and I) cannot take it anymore and she explodes, screaming, “Shut Up!!”  

So keep on the lookout my Pilates pals! Share your own Random Acts of Pilates with us at info@pilatesology.com or post them on our facebook page. 


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Andrea Maida

Andrea Maida

A native of Pittsburgh, Andrea began her study of the Pilates method in 2000. She holds two comprehensive certifications from Romana’s Pilates in New York and Excel Movement Studios in Washington, DC.  Andrea continues to study with numerous world-class instructors including Romana Kryzanowska, Jay Grimes, Sari Mejia-Santo, Junghee Kallander, Cynthia Lochard, and Kathryn Ross-Nash whenever possible. Andrea was privileged to be in the inaugural class of The Work at Vintage Pilates under the direction of Jay Grimes, 1st Generation Master Teacher and student of Joseph Pilates. 


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