9 Books You Should Be Reading

We’ve previously talked about Pilates “mastery” being the product of years of (ongoing) study, and seeking out knowledge.

Reading, and reading widely, is so crucial to this process!

So, we thought we’d bring you part two: nine books you should be reading on your journey toward Pilates mastery.

  1. Return to Life, Joseph H. Pilates

The Pilates Bible!

The original Pilates exercise book written by the creator and visionary of the Pilates method, Joseph H. Pilates. This book reviews the conceptual basis and philosophy of the Pilates method or ‘Contrology’, and the original matwork exercises Mr. Pilates taught in the studio on 8th Avenue and 55th Street in New York City. The model featured in this book is Mr. Pilates himself at the age of 60!

  1. Dance Anatomy and Kinesiology, Karen Clippinger

All dancers are looking to achieve optimal performance—and Dance Anatomy and Kinesiology will help them do just that. This text offers valuable scientific knowledge and understanding for dancers, helping them to blend anatomical and kinesiological principles with artistic expression. Such a blend of science and art will empower dancers to realize their potential and expand their artistic vision.

Dance Anatomy and Kinesiology is useful for dancers to learn anatomical and biomechanical principles as they apply to dance performance. It focuses on optimal dance movement and the related principles for understanding the function of body joints. And by applying those principles, dancers can help reduce their risk of injury and enhance their performance longevity.

  1. Centred: Organising the Body through Kinesiology, Movement Theory and Pilates Techniques, Madeline Black

This book provides explores the complex interconnectedness of the musculature, fascia, and joints, and the implication of these deeply intertwined systems for movement through Pilates, yoga, and other fitness disciplines.

Black’s richly illustrated presentation style allows the Instructor to grasp the biomechanics, underlying posture and dysfunction and hence to enable change and improvement.

A fantastic read; and available for purchase at PFI HQ in Myaree.

  1. Daring and Disruptive, Lisa Messenger

Not a Pilates-specific text, but a great read for anyone who wants to succeed as much as they want to breathe!

After decades of success in multiple industries, Lisa Messenger recounts personal stories and important business lessons: from why money is not the only currency, to how to fail well.  Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur, seasoned game changer or a corporate ladder-climber dreaming of creating your own gig; this book will inspire you to dig deep, stay on track, back yourself, be true to your ideas, and ensure that if you’re thrown to the wolves, you’ll have the strength to come out leading the pack.

  1. Diastasis Recti: The Whole Body Solution to Abdominal Weakness and Separation, Katy Bowman 

Biomechanist Katy Bowman explains explores Diastasis Recti as a symptom of a whole-body problem, including: body alignment; frequency of movement; the effects of all-day forces, like intra-abdominal pressure; and why a few exercises simply aren’t enough for long-term success. This text challenges us to learn a new way to move for an improved set of core muscles.

It includes over 30 exercises and habit modifications, designed to improve both the appearance and the function of the abdomen: a very useful reference text for all Instructors, but especially important pregnancy and post-natal!

  1. Move Your DNA: Restore Your Health Through Natural Movement, Katy Bowman

Another gem from Katy Bowman; Move Your DNA explains the science behind our need for natural movement – right down to the cellular level.

It examines the differences between the movements in a typical hunter – gatherer’s life and the movements in our own. It shows the many problems with using exercise like movement vitamins instead of addressing the deeper issue of a poor movement diet.

Best of all, Move Your DNA contains the corrective exercises, habit modifications, and simple lifestyle changes we need to make in order to free ourselves from disease and discover our naturally healthy, reflex driven selves.

  1. Pilates Anatomy, Rael Isacowitz and Karen Clippinger

“Pilates as you’ve never seen it before!”

This text is a must-read for anyone with aspirations to teach Pilates: a one-of-a-kind reference text. Pilates Anatomy takes you inside the exercises and programs that will tone the body, stabilize the core, improve balance, and increase flexibility; and uses detailed descriptions, step-by-step instruction, and stunning full-color anatomical illustrations.

Using the original mat work of Joseph Pilates, it explores how key muscles are used; variations and minor adjustments can influence effectiveness; and how breathing, alignment, posture, and movement are all fundamentally linked – and more!

Available for purchase from PFI HQ in Myaree!

  1. Pilates, Rael Isacowitz

This text, by Pilates royalty Rael Isacowitz, explore the full range of Pilates exercises to strengthen, lengthen, and sculpt your muscles.

Starting with the foundation for all the exercises, this text provides an in-depth treatment of the full range of Pilates apparatus, including photo illustrations and detailed breathing instruction to help you perform movements correctly:

  • Reformer
  • Cadillac
  • Step and ladder barrels
  • Magic circle
  • Wunda chair
  • Ped-a-pul
  • Arm chair

The complete repertoire includes a customized grouping of exercises in blocks that progress from the fundamental level through the intermediate and advanced levels to challenge you at all stages of Pilates development.

Pilates is the most comprehensive guide available on the Pilates method!

  1. Pelvic Power: Mind/Body Exercises for Strength, Flexibility, Posture, and Balance for Men and Women, Eric Franklin

The pelvic floor, it’s so important! This text combines scientific principles with movement and imagery exercises to create a stronger body by toning the pelvic floor.

Focusing on the biomechanics of the pelvic floor, Pelvic Power shows how the pelvic floor plays an important role in almost all movements, balance, and body posture. Included exercises train the muscles and joints and improve the tone of the organs, thereby increasing energy flow, eliminating incontinence, and keeping sexual organs healthy.