Joseph Pilates had an opinion on most things fitness related. We can observe his advice and wisdom in Return to life published in 1945. Whether it’s his direct instruction to avoid ‘haphazard exercise designed to produce only bulging muscles’ or advice on ‘fuelling’ the body, even down to what clothing to wear, he was both innovator and pioneer. There are wonderful stories and pictures of Joe exercising in the snow in NYC, wearing just his shorts! In the summertime he taught groups outdoors at Jacobs pillow and encouraged people to exercise outdoors as much as possible in their day to day routines, a truly challenging and invigorating experience that no indoor class can ever achieve.
With this in mind three years ago I started running Pilates Holidays in Cyprus http://www.seraphinapilates.com/pilatesbreaks.html A beautiful quiet hotel where protecting the local environment is more important than guest entertainment and happy hours. I knew this was the perfect place to allow people to really appreciate Pilates done in the fresh air, over looking the sea giving the perfect sense of what ‘deep breathing’ really can do for the body. Each year we have returned along with many of our previous participants and last year we added Italy as a weekend option. Alongside my administrator, who also happens to be a Pilates enthusiast and my mother, we have created regular Pilates Holidays for people wanting to recharge, using the teachings and wisdom of Joseph Pilates as our guide. Joseph talks about the strains of “fast living” and the “physical letdown and mental stress” suffered as a result, amongst other things, such as “Telephones, automobiles and economic pressure” .This was in 1945, I’m not sure he would cope if he could see how far we have apparently evolved!
And so it is that we try to provide all the benefits of the Pilates exercise’s along side fresh air, uninterrupted sleep, great food and even the occasional glass of wine. What we also see is people connecting through a love of one thing, Pilates, in so many ways they never anticipated. An early morning walk along the Sea can provide ample walk and talk time. A Medieval town full of steps can help remind you just what an appetite really is as opposed to eating because you are bored or stressed. Spending a few days less connected to technology can remind you that life ran just fine even before we all had mobile phones and perhaps limiting technology time is perhaps not such an unproductive thing to do after all. We help people rediscover the joy of reading a book in a secret garden or remember they could ride horses and how much they had missed it. Our Holidays run regardless of numbers in attendance, it was always about the experience over the profit margin. So if you have ever wanted to join an activity holiday, be it Pilates, Yoga, sailing or anything else that takes your imagination. Take a leap of faith and invest in your well being and fitness, and remember nothing beats ‘fresh air and sunshine’ and sometimes it’s just the kick start to a healthier, happier life that we all need.