Who else out there is excited to celebrate Pilates Day with me this year!
That’s what I thought.
Gather round and let me tell you a story.
It’s a story about a man named Joseph Pilates, who was born in Germany in 1883. He was sick as a child and turned to exercise and athletics to heal himself.
He became fascinated with how the body moved and worked. He believed in the importance of a balance of body, mind and spirit in order to find true healing, and he developed his own exercise method he called Contrology based on this ideal.
Germany wasn’t the best place to be in the 1920’s, and when German officials asked Joe to teach his fitness system to the army, he decided to leave Germany and head to America.
He emigrated to the US in 1926 and met his wife, Clara, on the journey here. They landed in beautiful New York and opened their first fitness studio, wanting to spread Joe’s vision of health and physical fitness to the masses.
Contrology became what we now know of as Pilates, and it was here to stay.
Joe and Clara’s studio shared an address with the New York City Ballet, and his exercises quickly became popular with injured dancers and those wanting to improve their form and endurance. By the 1960’s, Pilates exercises made a regular appearance in dancer’s warm-ups around the country.
While Joe liked his work, he longed for a time when the world outside of the dance community would see the value of his method. He felt a constant disappointment that his exercises were not embraced globally by doctors and physicians as a holistic way of healing the body.
He passed away in 1967 at the age of 87, never seeing the full realization of his vision for Pilates in the world.
“I’m fifty years ahead of my time,” Joe claimed.
He was right.
In the late 1980’s, Hollywood and the media began to cover Pilates extensively. It was first used in hospitals for rehabilitation around this time, and the number of Pilates teachers and students sky rocketed.
Pilates has now entered the fitness and healthcare mainstream. Professional athletes do it. Grandma’s do it. Children do it. Elite runners do it. Pianists do it. Paraplegics do it.
You do it.
I do it.
Cameron Diaz does it for goodness sakes.
Quite the journey from a young, sick boy born in Germany in the 1800’s.
When compared to other fitness modalities, Pilates is barely in adolescence. It’s a young method – especially when compared to something like yoga – which means the industry is still learning and finding it’s way. We are a community in constant development and growth, spread out across the world but held together by the principles we love and teach.
That’s where Pilates Day comes in.
Pilates Day came about as a vision and initiative of the Pilates Method Alliance. According to the PMA website,
“Pilates Day is an annual, international, community event celebrated on the first Saturday of May every year. The Pilates Day mission is to foster the public’s appreciation and awareness of the Pilates Method through a network of varied, innovative, and high quality grassroots Pilates events accessible and affordable for all.”
I have always loved the idea of Pilates Day, as it gives those of us who work in the industry an excuse to celebrate what we love. We hold parties and free classes on that day and spread the good word of Pilates.
It’s kind of been like National Pancake Day, though. If you LOVE pancakes, you probably know about that day. If you don’t, you won’t notice it.
I want to make this year different!
Pilates Day 2016 is held on Saturday, May 7, this year, and the emphasis is Pilates Bliss. I’m super excited for this theme as it is meant to spotlight the joy experienced through Pilates – in health, community and quality of life.
We all need more of it!
Whether you are a beginner or an advanced Pilates student, whether you love or hate the Hundred exercise, there is SOMETHING that can bring you joy in movement and the Pilates method.
I want to see what it is!
I’m very proud to be one of six Ambassadors chosen for Pilates Day this year. In addition to my regular Pilates videos, I wanted to do something really fun to celebrate and spread the word about Pilates Day this year.
This is where YOU come in!
Want to do something really fun that doesn’t cost anything and might win you some amazing prizes?
I thought so :).
This Pilates Bliss Instagram Challenge was born from my love of Pilates and my desire to see how others express their Pilates Bliss.
For the seven days leading up to Pilates Day, I and the other hosts (see below!) will be posting one video or picture a day of specific Pilates moves on Instagram. Participants will share their own video or pictures of the same move on Instagram and use the hashtag #pilatesblisschallenge, so we can all follow this journey together!
I want you to share your pictures or videos along with me! Show me how you experience and share Pilates Bliss.
Some quick tips and rules for this Pilates Day Instagram Challenge:
- The challenges lasts 7 days, May 1-7.
I’m hosting this challenge with the amazing @laurabpilates and @kerisroompilates (go follow them RIGHT NOW :).
We will post each day’s moves the night before. There are two moves per day, encouraging you to show us how you flow and combine the moves together! Modifications and alterations are encouraged :).
At the end of the challenge, we will chose two winners who showed the most active participation and Pilates Bliss!
The winners will receive a beautiful Pilates wood carving from @laurabpilates, an awesome Pilates shirt from @pilatesnerd, and a one year Happy Hour Mama online fitness subscription from @happyhourmama.
You must follow each of the hosts on Instagram, along with our sponsor @pilatesnerd, to be eligible for prizes.
In addition, use the hashtag #PilatesBlissChallenge and #PilatesDay2016 so we can see what you are up to!
Did you catch that?
The thing about the prizes?
Each winner will get a free one year Happy Hour Mama membership!
I’m just too excited for words.
Or not, because I always have words :).
[ctt title=”I\’m so excited to join the #PilatesBlissChallenge for Pilates Day with @happyhourmama, @laurabpilates and @kerispilatesroom!” tweet=”I’m so excited to join the #PilatesBlissChallenge for Pilates Day with @happyhourmama, @laurabpilates and @kerispilatesroom!” coverup=”oWYaQ”]
So please join me this year in celebrating a day that is more than just Pilates.
It’s community, health, love, joy, movement and bliss.
It’s a big part of who I am, and I am so happy to have you here with me.
Here’s to your Pilates Bliss!