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Which one is better? Classical Pilates or Contemporary Pilates?

Classical Pilates and Contemporary Pilates embody different approaches and principles that shape their practices. To compare them comprehensively, let's start by examining the core tenets of the Responsive OS, which can provide a framework for assessing their key differences.


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1. Visionary vs. Commercial:

- Classical Pilates: Focuses on preserving the original teachings and exercises developed by Joseph Pilates, emphasizing traditional methods and alignment with his vision. It seeks to maintain the integrity of the practice without significant modification.

- Contemporary Pilates: Adapts to modern understandings of anatomy, movement science, and exercise physiology. It may integrate new equipment and approaches to address diverse client needs and align with evolving fitness and rehabilitation practices.


2. Lean vs. Large:

- Classical Pilates: Often emphasizes precision and control in movements, focusing on quality over quantity. It typically maintains a more traditional and essential approach to equipment, utilizing the original designs developed by Joseph Pilates.

- Contemporary Pilates: May explore a wider variety of equipment and props, incorporating modern fitness principles and varying the repertoire to address different fitness levels and goals. It may also involve a more extensive variety of exercises and modifications.


3. Open vs. Closed:

- Classical Pilates: Tends to adhere closely to the original Pilates method, with a focus on preserving the traditional teachings and maintaining the authentic practice.

- Contemporary Pilates: Embraces innovation and openness to new ideas, allowing for adaptations and modifications to meet the changing needs of practitioners, integrating knowledge from other movement disciplines, such as yoga and physical therapy.


4. Learning vs. Sustaining:

- Classical Pilates: Places a strong emphasis on preserving the original techniques and lineage, maintaining a deep connection to the foundational principles developed by Joseph Pilates.

- Contemporary Pilates: Integrates new research and advancements in movement science and exercise physiology, fostering a culture of continuous learning to enhance the effectiveness and relevance of the practice in a contemporary context.


5. Emergent vs. Controlled:

- Classical Pilates: Tends to follow a more structured and controlled approach, maintaining fidelity to the original method and exercises developed by Joseph Pilates.

- Contemporary Pilates: Often allows for more flexibility and adaptation, evolving based on contemporary knowledge and the diverse needs of clients, leading to the emergence of new variations and applications of the Pilates method.


By considering these contrasting values and characteristics, a comprehensive comparison between Classical Pilates and Contemporary Pilates can highlight the evolution and divergence of the two approaches while recognizing their respective contributions to the Pilates Community.

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