What Is Pilates?

Many of my on line Pilates discussions now seem to be about how we define Pilates. The importance of how we as Pilates professionals speak about our business cannot be underestimated. Currently the Pilates Method Alliance (PMA) is the first organization to try to standardize Pilates. According to their webiste,

Founded in 2001, the Pilates Method Alliance is the professional association and certifying agency for Pilates teachers. For the past decade, Pilates teachers from around the world have worked together to create a unified community, to share knowledge and information, and most importantly, to establish the practice of teaching Pilates as a profession. To that end, in 2005 the PMA launched the only third-party professional certification exam in the Pilates industry. We urge you to join this movement to elevate the status of Pilates teachers and establish a new profession by becoming a PMA® Certified Pilates Teacher.

But many pilates teachers, including myself, have elected to not take this exam, in part because we are not sure we agree with their definition of Pilates. Is it simply a series of exercises that can be broken down biomechanically? Or is it a way of moving in the world?

Who decides?