At their core (no pun intended, I swear!) Pilates and yoga are extremely alike. Indeed, as I have mentioned before, Pilates is heavily influenced by yoga. So it’s always very interesting to me that while yoga has become as mainstream as, well, baseball, Pilates remains mysterious to your average person.
Here’s my theory on why this is (and yes, I have a lot of theories…). It’s the crazy looking equipment. For example, one of my favorites is the Cadillac, (also know as the Trapeze Table) but often when I get a new client, the person takes one look, and a look of total fear creeps across his/her face. What, with the straps and the table-thing, and the trapeze, and the handles; it kind of freaks them out. It’s like- “what is this medieval-torture-bed-looking-thing”? And “what is it going to do to me”?
“Well,” you are now wondering, “what IS it going to do to me?” I, your friendly physical therapist, have the answer, as a matter of fact. It is going to give you rock hard abs! No, ok, not really. Because only freaky people have real rock hard abs. But what it WILL do, is help with your spinal awareness, which will make your posture better, which in turn will make you look like you have rock hard abs, or at the very least, slimmer. And it will actually make you stand up straighter. This is one of those things that can be extremely beneficial in the long run- think old-lady-hunch prevention.
And, it’s actually really fun to work on the Cadillac! I mean- the whole inspiration for it came from a bed! You can work that core and stretch that body, all while lying down! And, there are plenty
exercises you can work on with your physical therapist or Pilates instructor involving every single one of your muscles, particularly that core. After a while, you’ll be totally amazed at what you are doing. Here’s a neat little video that demonstrates many of the cool things you can do on the Cadillac. (Beware! There is some music- you might want to hit mute, if you are some place quiet.)