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Stott Compared to Classical Pilates


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#1 ahchoy

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 02:21 AM

Greetings from Singapore! I'm new to Pilates and I am so glad to have stumbled onto this forum. It is really nice to know that Pilates instructors have such a good sense of humour. I am certain that at my next reformer class, once the series of Long Box exercises starts, I will be in an uncontrollable laughing fit thinking about dead bugs and Jesus on the cross...oh help me!

I've only started learning Pilates 4 months ago AND I'M LOVING IT! The studio I go to in Singapore teaches the Authentic Pilates. After 20 private classes, I decided to explore the Stott type of Pilates. I was surprised by the differences...not just in the equipment, but also fundamentals like breathing (exhaling instead of inhaling at the start) and positioning of the feet (almost always parallel). Naturally, I was confused and wondered why the Stotts type of exercises evolved that way.

Personally I love the classical form and I understand why Joseph Pilates made each exercise a challenge - it's a work out! But I am also beginning to understand why modifications are needed at times. My Stotts instructor is able to immediately customise the hour's routine to address a particular problem my body has at that moment. I am thankful that I started with the classical form. I will continue to learn the Authentic Pilates for as long as I can (it is financially draining!!) because I feel that that should form my basic foundation in Pilates. But, I will also continue to explore with Stotts because...well, I have really good instructors from both studios and I enjoy all my sessions with them. That, to me, is good enough a reason.

Cheers and good health to all!

#2 gaile

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 12:51 PM

Why is it that the authentic instructors are so expensive?This is a recurring theme on this forum and I dont get it.Also a well trained authentic teacher should be able to customise anything to your body no one body is the same and although I may teach all the beginners the beginner system it will be tailored for them and should be Joe didnt teach a one size fits all neither was he money grabbing.
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#3 reinbeau

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 01:01 PM

I can't speak to the New York crowd and prices, around here privates are anywheres from $50 (that's at a home studio and she's nuts for charging that little) to $85 (which is on the high side, although with rents going up, I can see that happening more and more), with some trainers up in Boston getting $120 an hour (ouch!). Right now both of my main studios, one Stott and one Classical, are charging $70 per session, with packages, etc. If you buy multiples of 5 or 10 the price drops to $60 apiece. There are other prices for duos, trios and mat.

It's expensive training, equipping the studio costs big bucks, it's a high end industry. I know I couldn't pay those prices when I was studying Pilates all those years, so I found cheaper (and maybe not as good quality) substitutes. That's why I went through training to be an instructor!!! Now I can (barely) afford the rates.

You're right, it's expensive, and I'm not here to defend those rates, because I think they keep many people away from private instruction. On the flip side, only serious students find ways to cough up the money - or the rich women who have it anyways and like the individual attention. I prefer the former, but the latter makes up a large part of my clientelle! :)
- Ann, Peak Pilates Certified Classical Instructor, student forever!

#4 bokfukata

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 03:15 PM

only serious students find ways to cough up the money - or the rich women who have it anyways and like the individual attention


Yep, that's pretty much how it is around here. There's an elementary school teacher who's been coming weekly to one of the studios for five years @ $80 a lesson. There's a nurse who comes twice a week to the other studio. They like what Pilates has done for them but I know it's a strain on their budgets. The bulk of the clientele are the rich ladies and those who work in the film or high-tech areas.

#5 JackieCat

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 05:33 PM

Is it just me or is it a recurrent theme that Stott pilates doesn't provide a workout but classical pilates does?

I am Stott trained (just tested on mat and reformer this week) and I always feel like I get a workout from the Stott repertoire- especially the Advanced- as do the clients that I train. I have taken classes and privates from classically trained instructors as well. I took a private from Alisa Wyatt, a great classically trained instructor who is currently in the LA area, and while she is awesome and it was a great workout, I wouldn't say that it was SOOO much more of a workout than my regular privates with my trainer at home.

Doesn't anyone else feel that Stott pilates is a workout too?

#6 Pilates Core

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 05:38 PM

STOTT PILATES is one hell of a workout, if done properly. I sweat and I make my clients sweat.

#7 Tom Floyd

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 07:53 PM

Nobody is bashing Stott, especially not me. I've picked up some useful things from their videos.

Tom

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#8 ahchoy

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 10:52 PM

Hmmm, I enjoy my Stotts sessions not because the exercises are less of a work out, but because it focuses on specific problem areas or specific muscles which need more work. I do come out of class sweaty and feeling pleasantly tired. The initial warm up exercises may be a little more gentle, but when my teacher starts working on the specifics, oh boy, I get a real work out. Perhaps it is the way he structures the routine for me...I should find out.

It's my personal view that starting with the original form before moving on to the evolved forms helps to better understand the how's and why's of the evolution. I also like routines in the classical version as I am able to practise them at home. At the end of the day, at S$100 (S$1.4 to US$1) per private lesson, I'm happy so long as I have had a good work out, learnt something more about controlling my body, and most importantly, walking out of the studio a little tired but with a smile.

Have a lovely restful weekend!

P/s Gym personal trainers here are charging S$75 a session, so...
P/s It's all about prioritising. I've cut back on clothes, taxi-rides, shoes, handbags and pots. Saw an Emile Henry pot the other day - stroked it, held it, hugged it, and then walked away. That one pot equals 3-4 lessons. I don't need another pot; I need PILATES!! :)

#9 reinbeau

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Posted 15 August 2008 - 02:53 AM

I have had some really bad experiences with Stott trainers. My main problem with them is they don't let you move. The advanced Stott routine is challenging, however, it takes years to get there (at least around here), there are lots of unnecessary remedial movements - plus the trainers are dictatorial in how they teach. They seem to keep people in the beginning repertoire for way too long, at least for my tastes. I won't go into more detail for professional reasons. When I found where I am training now I was thrilled to find that I was allowed to move, the gentle corrections lead to my success. Stott is a huge organization, however, there aren't many Stott trainers around here, mostly Classical and I'm happy for that. I have nothing against any of the trainers I have met personally, I just don't care for the changes of the work as taught by Stott, these are my personal experiences and preferences, and I am not trying to offend anyone with them.
- Ann, Peak Pilates Certified Classical Instructor, student forever!

#10 Pilates Core

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Posted 15 August 2008 - 05:51 AM

I have had some really bad experiences with Stott trainers. My main problem with them is they don't let you move. The advanced Stott routine is challenging, however, it takes years to get there (at least around here), there are lots of unnecessary remedial movements - plus the trainers are dictatorial in how they teach. They seem to keep people in the beginning repertoire for way too long, at least for my tastes. I won't go into more detail for professional reasons. When I found where I am training now I was thrilled to find that I was allowed to move, the gentle corrections lead to my success. Stott is a huge organization, however, there aren't many Stott trainers around here, mostly Classical and I'm happy for that. I have nothing against any of the trainers I have met personally, I just don't care for the changes of the work as taught by Stott, these are my personal experiences and preferences, and I am not trying to offend anyone with them.


Ehhh, that really depends on your trainer. I've worked with some like that, too. However, I absolutely guarantee that none of my students would say any of that about me. My classes are fast-paced, and even the beginner classes usually end up doing some exercises from more advanced repetoire, because I don't see any reason why you can't mix levels if some parts of your body are ready to move on before others.

As far as the remedial movements, those should only be used if you're injured or having a problem understanding a concept somewhere in your body.

What I like about STOTT PILATES is the fact that it's constantly updating based on what exercise scientists are discovering. I like knowing that my method will be in keeping with the times and always be one of the safest methods out there. Much as I want to learn about classical, there are some moves I feel are unsafe (like the crab, and whatever that thing on the reformer where you do a backwards somersault off it onto the floor). I'm not sure if Classical trainers are still telling clients to push their lower backs into the mat like Joe did, but that's been proven to be horrible spinal alignment. I dunno, I like a lot of the ideas Joe came up with, I just feel that he isn't here to make some necessary changes, and we are. That being said, Classical does have a lot to offer, and I'm very much looking forward to doing some workouts now that I know there's a studio in Toronto that offers it.

#11 reinbeau

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Posted 15 August 2008 - 07:06 AM

But those exercises are very advanced, and not taught in even the intermediate system, for us it's Advanced and Beyond - and for the record, that's Balance & Control Off, I've done it, with lots of help.

Classical Pilates is not unsafe by any means, and insinuating that Stott is safer just isn't right. I keep my clients safe because it's the way we're taught to teach! No one wants to be unsafe. You wouldn't be giving anyone Crab unless you know they are capable of the movement, nor Balance & Control Off, for that matter!. As for updating the movements it's been done, I know Peak & Power teaches with updated thoughts WRT the back, neck, shoulder girdle, pelvic placement, etc. They just haven't broken each move down into minutia. Our philosophy is Movement Heals and given a well trained, well grounded instructor, there are modifications for most every move, and we use them. Our training is every bit as intense, modern and informed as Stotts'.

So it sounds as thought you've seen some bad instruction out of the Classical camp, and I've seen the same in the Stott camp. That's the problem with generalizations, I guess. There are good and bad aspects of everything.
- Ann, Peak Pilates Certified Classical Instructor, student forever!

#12 Elena

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Posted 15 August 2008 - 08:05 AM

Hello guys,
I have been on the fringe for a while, just reading and taking in knowledge after the tongue lashing I received from Kiery Fox for defending Siri, not what I signed up for, but let's not get caught up back on that!

I started this thread because I was and am very excited to read and exchange ideas from a wealth of backgrounds.

Having been a STOTT certified, Power Pilates comprehensively trained and studying more and more with classical, authentic instructors (Siri Galiano, Peter Fiasca and others) I feel I have a good place to add to this thread in a positive and objective way. Not taking sides, just stating facts and personal preferences.

Well, as it is true, Joe didn't have a one size fits all method. That is why Carola Trier, Eve Gentry, Romana have all the true method, yet seem different in the approach. Joe taught the body in front of him, not the community in front of him. We have a blueprint with the classical method and it works. Many variations and modifications exist from within it. With Stott, I never really understood what Pilates was. In fact, I hate to say it, but it's true, my 20 years experience STOTT teacher trainer was quoted in the local newspaper saying that classical pilates, namely Romana hurt Moira Stott and that's why she created her own, much safer method and she went on to say that classical pilates instructors were not up to the physiological advances and new information etc.....Moira did a beautiful job in creating her Stott empire with a wonderful method to teach, but in my opinion, lost the essence of what Pilates is and what Joe intended it to be. Joe was a genius of the body! He was way ahead of his time. He knew that there was a connection between the body and mind a telephone switchboard so to speak...which now has been studied by the universities and proven as a fact. Neutral pelvis vs neutral spine? I was taught in Stott neutral spine, with classical neutral pelvis. When you force your body to do things that it isn't ready to do, you not only miss the beauty of Pilates as a method, but exacerbate whatever issues you may have with your body. Stott gave me ways to modify while I didn't understand Pilates,it helped me heal my sciatica and it gave me new ways to teach, the workout was good and hard, but Stott isn't what Joe taught, Stott is Stott, a modification of the method that continues to reinvent the wheel. Just different, not bad, but not Joe Pilates essence either. I have taught both, I am very fond of STOTT, but classical pilates allowed me to move, to find my powerhouse and then and only then we worked on the periphery. Joe never worked on a particular issue. He wanted you to find your powerhouse first, the issues would solve itself. That is the beauty of the Classical Method. Movement WILL heal you, let the system work for you. Not mat first, then reformer, then cadillac and barrels, the system! That's is what took me away from STOTT. As a personal trainer, knowing that I could work somebody out, I didn't just want any other Pilates, I wanted PILATES, that is what I searched for and I found it in Classical. Please Stott guys, don't come to offensive, I am also Stott and just stating facts.

Having said all that, UNITY is what we should all search for now in this time and age of online certifications and weekend certifications. We all worked too hard to let the method die in the hands of untrained and inexperienced instructors. STOTT, Classical, PEAK, POWER, we all worked hard to get where we are, we should learn from each other, which takes me back to the beginning. Joe taught the body in front of him, there were many methods within the method..the standing thigh stretch in Stott (Split on the reformer on your knees) is Eve Gentry's lunge, so we are not that different after all, the approach is different, but so was Joe's, depending on what body he had in front of him, he utilized his apparatus to reach that particular body. That lunge is not part of the classical repertoire, but Joe found a need for it....I know I am all over the place, but needed to finally say all those things....

The only negative I have to say, would be that some of the Stott trainers here, keep telling people that Stott is safer, not to come to me...etc...etc...but now that's just local drama, not a generalization of the Stott instructors. Just as some classical people say Stott is not Pilates...can we fix this?

#13 JackieCat

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Posted 15 August 2008 - 05:07 PM

It's interesting . . . I have found more classical trainers that are dictatorial in how they teach than I have contemporary. That's one of the things that kind of turned me off to some of the classical approaches.

I guess I've been lucky in that all of the Stott instruction I've had has been quite vigorous. But I also don't think one has to do advanced exercises to get a workout. I feel like I can get a pretty decent workout with even the Stott Essential repertoire (not counting some of the really mellow warm up exercises.)

#14 Pilates Core

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Posted 15 August 2008 - 05:44 PM

What Ann said is very true, one bad experience can really colour your perception of something. Ann, we need to be in the same city so that you can show me the good stuff in Classical and I can show you the good stuff in STOTT!

I like what Elena had to say, too, although I'd say I hear just as much negative stuff from the Classical enthusiasts about contemporary methods as the reverse, here and everywhere.

My other $0.02... even though I love what I teach, I disagree with the lawsuit verdict. I think only Classical trainers should be able to call it Pilates, because I agree that a lot of contemporary methods have changed the essence of the method. Pilates-based is fine, but it ain't anything like what Joe taught.

#15 gaile

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Posted 16 August 2008 - 12:17 AM

I cant really comment on Stott only having had a couple of lessons in which the whole sniff sniff blow thing put me off however what comes across in this discussion is a lack of understanding on why a workout is hard.Its got nothing to do with doing advanced excercises and everything to do with your instructor looking at your body and seeing what you need to work on within that excercise therefore a good classical instructor and I can only speak of this because its what I know should be able to work you out in the beginner system as much as in the advanced.Having orginally trained in a pilates based version and then subsequently in classical its hard to understand the classical approach until you have studied it with your body and mind.From the outside I used think it would be so boring to teach the same work over and over and I would see people being allowed to roll their hips in the one leg circle and not understand why etc.Now I realise that knowing the system frees your eyes and mind to look at your client and tailor the work specfically to them without having to think what excercises you are going to choose.It constantly amazes me how versatile Joes work is I have clients who are so riddled with problems that we have to move slowly through the beginer system modifying the work until they improve and improve they do and I have had others who sail through the work as if born to do it.What I have found is that my ability to take someone deeper within each system has improved vastly and there has been no need to keep looking for different things for them to do as they cant do correctly what they are being given.I used to go looking for different variations tec because I didnt understand how the work was supposed to be.The champagne moments when someone moves a pedal that wouldnt lift or suddenly "gets" something in their body is what makes the work worthwhile.
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#16 JackieCat

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Posted 16 August 2008 - 07:17 AM

What's the sniff sniff blow thing? I just took my Stott exam and I don't know what this is.

I do agree with Gaile that a good instructor (classical or otherwise) should be able to give someone a good workout in the beginner/essential level just as much as in the intermediate or advanced.

#17 PilatesTCI

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Posted 18 August 2008 - 01:25 PM

You know, I used to be a classical philosophy professor (pre-Socratic, Plato, Aristotle, Kant focusing mostly on ethics) and it always amazed me how many students and graduate students I met who had never studied the basic historical philosophers but wanted to jump right into post-modern deconstructionists like Derrida. I was always under the impression that you can't deconstruct a system if you are not intimately acquainted with and have a deep understanding of that system. You can't criticize Plato if you haven't read and understood the dialogues.

I feel the same way about Pilates. It is perfectly possible to move forward with the method in a way that respects current knowledge of the body and its functions without losing the basis of Contrology. The repetition of the same exercises gives the body a chance to experience change and to delve deeper into how the body moves. Yes, super advanced exercises like crab may be contraindicated for many people, but certainly not for all! And it is fun and challenging to move into those exercises.

It is also important to be clear on what is really Pilates Contrology and what is not. I HATE hearing "pilates ball", "pilates band", "pilates heavy ball", "pilates roller" (and let's face it, Moira and Lindsey have done a lot of the Pilates branding of these items). The malibu chair is closer to Pilates equipment than any of these. Hey, I teach using balls, rollers, bands, weights in addition to magic circles and classic equipment. BUT I am clear that when I do that I am not teaching Pilates (pilates-inspired, perhaps).

Romana has changed a few things, like adding the jumpboard to the reformer and adding some different kneeling side arm series variations, playig with spring tension, etc. And I respect her right to do that as she lives and breathes Joe's work.

But I do agree that you can find good and bad teachers in any "brand" of Pilates.

#18 diver

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Posted 18 August 2008 - 03:40 PM

Ditto.

#19 Edgar

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 11:34 AM

Re: The high cost of sessions. I will teach a session for the exact amount that Joe charged in 1959. You bring me six, one dollar, silver certificates.

Edgar
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#20 Tan

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Posted 30 August 2008 - 06:25 AM

I cant really comment on Stott only having had a couple of lessons in which the whole sniff sniff blow thing put me off


I realize this conversation is probably done...just to claify I think this breathing derrives from Ron Fletcher. The Instructor was probably throwing in a few elements he/she has learned along the way.

Edited by Tan, 30 August 2008 - 06:27 AM.





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