“Contrology (Pilates) is complete coordination of body, mind, and spirit. Through Contrology you first purposefully acquire complete control of your own body and then through proper repetition of its exercises you gradually and progressively acquire that natural rhythm and coordination associated with all your subconscious activities.” -Joseph Pilates
It was never a direct path to Pilates. From an early age, I remember being fascinated with movement. Like many little girls, I thought dancers were beautiful, graceful, and magical – I wanted to be one. I begged my parents to take me to dance classes in Jerusalem, about a 20-minute drive through the West Bank from where we lived.
My father drove me to class in our old, beat-up car to my class. I remember the teacher – tall, all of her hair up in a bun, and lots of dark eyeliner (I loved it). Unfortunately, we couldn’t keep doing that drive because of security reasons (This was the first intifada), so I compromised on any other arts that were challenging and interesting enough.
As time went on, I went to university, studying to be a curator for museums. Sometime during my studies and working for a technology company, I tried a Pilates class for the first time. OHHH, the movement! My body felt joy! As a student, tasked with reading and writing papers, I was stuck in chairs for too long – I couldn’t stop going to Pilates classes.
My first teacher convinced me, that I should become a teacher, as a side job until I finish my degree, and she recommended the school. As I stepped into the studio, my eyes opened wide with the sheer possibilities of movement and challenges that presented itself. Whether on the mat or on the many Pilates apparatus, I could see my mind delving into the intricacies of movement. I was in love.
Meeting the teachers was also exciting. Most between the ages of 40-60, they moved gracefully, had a sense of inner strength, and were so balanced in their appearance. That day changed my life – Pilates was something more than a class to attend, it was a way of changing one’s life through dedication to the body.
Between working in an office in professional clothing and high heels or being barefoot immersed in a profession of movement, I chose the latter. I’ve studied with incredible teachers, met like-minded movement geeks, and I’ve seen Joseph Pilates’ vision of a healthier world through physical refinement. It was an easy choice. There are no regrets in my decisions to not pursue a career in museums – I’d do it all over again (I’d start even earlier, maybe!). I still dream of being a dancer; moving gracefully on stage. But, for now, Pilates fulfills my need of beauty in movement. I love sharing this with others, I love helping people discover their own potential and feeling strength in their bodies.