Pilates will elevate mind, body, spirit

Bravo to the Durango Herald for including a more realistic perspective about maintaining overall health and fitness (“Your thinking about fitness all wrong,” Jan. 26). Damon Young, author of How to Think About Exercise, challenges the Western approach to exercise: We want it hard, fast, and we want to feel the burn, with the resulting soreness which leaves us feeling we got a good workout. But rarely do we speak of the poisonous nature of the lactic acid build-up which our fad and buff workouts viciously cycle through our bodies as a result. No surprise that the muscle imbalances created by these workouts (ill-approached weightlifting, mixed sport-focused high velocity training, etc.) overdevelop large muscle groups at the expense of others, and its speed leaving the equally important deep postural muscles unable to develop and support a healthy spine nor maintain correct alignment – especially in our daily activities of living.

Young’s argument that exercise should be striving toward wholeness and a fuller life is praiseworthy, as well as the combined use of mind and body to fully benefit from our efforts. What remains fairly unknown is that a form of movement training that addresses these issues comprehensively – complete mind-body connection – was developed more than 90 years ago, and is practiced daily by millions everywhere. Joseph Pilates and his classical Pilates method derives from years of studying, and then combining elements of yoga, Zen and the ancient Greek physical regimens to acquire a perfect balance, and as Pilates declares, “devoting ourselves more rationally to the uniform development of our bodies as a whole.”

Meant to be a journey of a lifetime, the regular practice of Pilates keeps pace with the ever-changing needs of the body, whether an elite athlete, an active recreationalist, or an individual transitioning into their later years. It guarantees to elevate your mind, body and spirit, creating an enduring quality of life – now, and for your lifetime. Bravo to Damon Young for once again reinforcing the possibility to “reclaim the pleasures and rewards of exercise over a lifetime.”