Inside the Pilates Studio: Chris Robinson

chris robinson pilates

I met Chris Robinson circa 2007. I had heard his name a few times before, mostly from women, more often than not in a different pitch than their normal speaking voice and accompanied by a swoon. Hmmm…interesting.

Chris, you may not be happy that I am leading with the swoon factor.

But wait, hear me out.

In the last couple of years I have had the opportunity to speak with Chris about his perspective on the true work of Joseph Pilates, the greater Pilates industry, life, etc… We have been devotees of Jay Grimes for years and often see each other at Vintage Pilates in LA for lessons. Out to dinner with colleagues and friends, we have been scolded for persisting to talk about “work.” We just can’t stop. We love Pilates. During his workout with Jay, Chris’ love for movement is abundantly clear. The Pilates Method excites him. Athletic movement animates him with an infectious enthusiasm for learning and the pursuit of perfection. He nods with satisfaction when executing an exercise better today than yesterday.

So I have to agree, Chris, your approach to the work is decidedly swoon-worthy.

1. What is your favorite Pilates exercise and why?

CR: Double Leg Stretch. Every exercise in the Method has elements of the Double Leg Stretch. If you get this exercise correct, then you’ll understand the others much better.

2. What exercise is your least favorite? Pick only one.

CR: Overhead. Because my shoulders are so tight, I have to use all of my strength and energy to do it correctly.

3. What turns you on creatively, mentally or physically about the Pilates method?

CR: The fact you can always go to a deeper layer amazes me. I can work on an exercise for years and then one little adjustment and the exercise is completely changed.

4. What is your idea of earthly happiness?

CR: Balance!!!

5. What to your mind would be the greatest misfortune?

CR: Imbalance!!! LOL

6. What is your favorite Pilates word?


7. What is your least favorite Pilates word?


8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

CR: Astronaut!!

9. If Heaven exists, and by some chance when you arrive at the pearly gates Joseph Pilates is also there, what would you like to hear him say to you?

CR: I would like him to tell me if I’m teaching his work correctly. 

10. What did you learn today?

CR: How to do the Control Push Up Reverse correctly by connecting the feet to the powerhouse.

Question #10 foreshadows my first Pilates Style featurette, “What Did You Learn Today?” in their upcoming September/October issue. Chris Robinson and I will both say more about this famous question that Romana Kryzanowska asked her students on a daily basis. Stay tuned to Pilatesology for further information.

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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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