Book Review: Return to Life, Joseph Pilates

I’ve been kind of ga-ga over Pilates since about November, I think. I told my hubby, I think it’s tickling some latent German gene that’s floating around in my DNA. The book resonated with me on several levels, and it’s not anything that I can’t square with Scripture (unlike much of the bladdity-blah of yoga). In fact, it lines up pretty good.

I first read about Joseph Pilates in Aleceya Ungaro’s book on Pilates for beginners. He was a pretty fascinating fellow. He was the German equivalent to Jack La Lane, in that, he was into good fitness and well-being before it was “popular” to be. Hitler wanted him to train the German troops, but, since he was a pacifist, he emigrated to the U.S., settled in New York City and began a career which included training dancers.

pilates coverOriginally published in 1945, this book is right to the point. Let me quote some portions (which, since I have it on Kindle, will not include actual page numbers):

All in all, we do not give our bodies the care that our well-being deserves. True, we do stroll in the fresh air whenever our whimsical spirit moves us, or whenever necessity compels us to do so, with the result that on these occasions we do, in spite of ourselves, exercise our legs to this limited extent, accomplished, however, at the sacrifice of the rest of our body, which after all is much more important to us from the viewpoint of general health.

1 Corinthian 6:10: Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirt? We need to work to maintain our vessels for His good work!

Telephones, automobiles, and economic pressure all combine to create physical letdown and mental stress…

Remember, he wrote this in 1945. Imagine how much more these stresses are now, in this 21st Century.

There’s so much more; Just go get it 😉 It’s available on Kindle, and you can highligh. In the back are his original 34 exercises that began the huge, booming revolution that is now what we know as Pilates. If you look on YouTube, you can find many of his original films. (check out this one). You can also access JosephPilates.org, a place where you can find most of his original writings and lots of other neat stuff.

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