Pilates can be divided into two groups: classical Pilates and contemporary Pilates. Both approaches, still use the foundation of Joseph Pilates’ teachings, but there are differences. Essentially, Classical Pilates refers to the original teaching methodology, while contemporary or modern styles of Pilates refer to variations and inventions of the original Pilates movements and sequences.

Both classical and contemporary approaches to Pilates will yield impressive results! It comes down to your ability, your comfort level, and your overall preference. Read more to understand the difference between classical Pilates and other modern styles in Westwood!

Want to learn more about how you can join the Pilates community? Contact Sheppard Method Pilates in Westwood. Contact our office to get started!

Classical Pilates

In a classical Pilates class, the movements practiced aim to stay as close as possible to Joseph Pilates’ original teachings. This includes the routines and movements themselves, how you execute them, as well as the order they are performed—known as sequencing. While some elements may be unique to that Pilates instructor or studio, the goal is to stay true to original Pilates roots. In addition to mat Pilates, classical Pilates also includes Reformer Pilates.

Overall, what you’ll get from Classic Pilates is a strength practice that is dynamic, controlled, and balanced.

Classical Pilates instructors also go through more hours of training and certification, requiring 600 hours under a teacher within the lineage of Joseph Pilates himself. If you are taking a Classical Pilates class, you are practicing just as Joseph Pilates intended when he created Contrology.

Contemporary Pilates

Contemporary Pilates encompasses any modern iteration or deviation from Joseph Pilates’ classic Pilates movements. Modifications of Pilates movements can be used for rehabilitation purposes, for those with limited mobility, or even to blend Pilates with other exercise routines such as weightlifting or yoga. Modern Pilates also can incorporate equipment that makes the movements more accessible, such as yoga blocks, bands, rollers, and Pilates rings.

Modern Pilates includes:

  • Sports medicine approaches to Pilates movements
  • Pilates for rehabilitation after surgery
  • Pilates inspired HIIT classes
  • Clinical Pilates
  • Stott Pilates
  • Winsor Pilates
  • Hybrid Pilates workouts

Which Style of Pilates Should You Choose?

Neither approach is better than the other! You should choose whatever style of Pilates that works for you, and what you feel most comfortable doing. Because some modern Pilates can used modified versions of the classical Pilates movements, they may feel less challenging if you are used to practicing Classical Pilates. In contrast, other styles of modern Pilates focus on cardio, and may feel more difficult or less like Pilates routines at all. You may even enjoy practicing several different kinds of Pilates styles or iterations to meet your needs on different days. No matter which style of Pilates you choose, you are going to feel centered, stronger, and healthier!

Classical Pilates Classes at Sheppard Method Pilates in Westwood

At Sheppard Method Pilates in Westwood, founder Risa Sheppard utilizes her extensive knowledge and expertise to develop a personalized classic Pilates practice. With formal training from one of the original Pilates elders, Ron Fletcher, and nearly five decades of experience teaching Pilates, the Sheppard Method is “classic Pilates with a personal touch.”

The goal of the Sheppard Method is to customize classic Pilates practice with the individual, to allow accessibility of Joseph Pilates’ teachings for all levels and abilities. By incorporating a balanced mindset to the Pilates practice to bring the mind and body together, the Method is a healing expression of your authentic self, allowing your body to move in a fluid, efficient, powerful, coordinated, and relaxed manner.

Call the Westwood Pilates instructors at Sheppard Method Pilates to discuss how we can help you include Classical Pilates in your exercise regimen and boost your overall health!