Special #1995

Innovations in Pilates

10 min - Special


Anthony Lett has written a second book in his Innovations in Pilates series. We interviewed him to find out about his Pilates career and how that led him to write his books. He talks about his inspirations for writing and what sets his book apart from the other Pilates books on the market. He also tells us where you can find them if you are interested in purchasing a copy.

To find out more, read our blog which has a more in-depth interview about his book and his background.
What You'll Need: No props needed

About This Video

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Jul 28, 2015
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So I got started probably 23 years ago. I was teaching tennis and I was very stiff. I was a competitive tennis player, but I knew that I was very stiff and I was looking around for a way of stretching and on the TV I saw a guitarist named Ian Moss who was a cold chisel guitarist. You probably haven't heard of him over here, but they are pretty famous Australian rock band. And his girlfriend was Megan Williams, one of the first people to bring piles to Australia. So I saw them on TV and then I'm looked into a studio or tried to find a studio and there were only two are available at that time in Melbourne.

One of them was a studio, mostly for the Australian ballet, but that's the one that I managed to get into after bet, a six month wait. And so that's where I started. And now there's probably I guess maybe three or 400 studios in Melbourne. So it's taken off. My teacher had learned from Alan Herdman, so there's a, there's a link there. And then I stayed there and then I started apprenticing with them for a few years and then eventually open my own studio.

Around the year 2000, I started teaching instructors, probably Internet internationally. The innovations were probably about five years ago. Um, so not that long. That was when I released the first book, which was the innovations in pilates on the reformer. And before that really I'd been teaching stretching to, to pull out these teachers and other health practitioners. But I think it takes, you know, a good 10 years of working in your studio and working with different clients really before you're ready to start passing all that, that information to other teachers. I really think it takes that long.

The title of the new book, as you can see here is innovations in PyLadies, but this time it's called mat work for health and wellbeing. So the first book was, was based on reformer stretching. Um, this time it's on the mat for various reasons. One of them was that a lot of teachers who were interested in learning innovations didn't have pilates reformers, so they wanted met versions of the work that we're doing. So I came up with the idea for both the innovations books for probably quite a few reasons. One was my initial experience with Paulie's, I think I wrote this before that that um, Joe's had politely said his method was conceived to limber in stretch muscles so that you will be as supple as a cat. That really was my reason for starting politeness.

And what I found was that despite all the other benefits, I hadn't become that much more flexible after several years of doing [inaudible]. So I felt as though there was room for improvement in that aspect of the work. Um, not that there wasn't any stretching, but I felt that it wasn't the major emphasis and particularly with the growth of the core strength kind of movement. And the integration of that into is the interesting stretching. It waned quite a lot. And then, and I know as a client and now that I'm teaching other teachers, they often will say that their training program didn't have any stretching.

So I think, um, you know, what I wanted to do with these books was to retain one of those regional, uh, qualities that, you know, one of the original intentions of Joseph pilates also infuse it with some new developments and techniques in sports medicine. I felt as though a lot of people couldn't do politeness, particularly today's sedentary population because they too stiff. And so I know that's the experience with a lot of other teachers too, that that people will come, men in particular to the studio wanting to enroll or they will enroll in classes and they'll drop out pretty quickly because they just can't do the traditional work. So really, I, I felt as though persevering with the classical work was that was the least effective way of getting people to be able to do it. Um, sometimes it needed to be broken down into elements, which is what we've done here in the book. We've broken down all the classical mat exercises into the flexibility requirements at h joined and then we show the reader how to stretch those joints so that then they can go back and do the classical work more efficiently and more safely. Because doing it when you Steve, you either give up or you do it very poorly risking injury or, so I wanted to, to make it more accessible and more effective and, and to turn people off less so that they'd be more able in time to do the work. So that was really the, the idea behind it. The teacher training is going well, we've done, you know, I wasn't sure how it would be received and, and uh, it has been received five will they, because as I said, a lot of teachers have said that there's a real lack of knowledge and stretching instruction in a training and, and I die to, uh, started teaching pilates and doing [inaudible].

One of the reasons was to become more flexible and they felt as though that had been overlooked to some extent. So the tier two trainings playing popular, we've done courses pretty much all over the world now in, in um, I think once we got to South Africa this year, it'll be on every continent. So it's been well received. And how does our book differ from other politesse books? And I said, um, once before I wanted to, that's why I had delayed doing a map book because I wanted to find a good reason for doing it. There's already dozens of very good Matt books out in the market and um, I didn't want to write this to another one and probably give the same information that's already been given. So what we did was we, the first part of the book part I, we perform all the classical mat exercises but not with a view to teaching people how to do them, but with a view to analyzing them from the point of view of what flexibility is required to be able to do them well. So we look at, we look at photographs and brief descriptions of each, each exercise, like the hundred for example, and look at what are the major flexibility requirements. And then we do that joint by joint and then the reader can go to the second part of the book to find the stretches that we recommend to facilitate a better performance of the a hundred, for example. Um, that's one way of using the book.

The other way is just to use it as a wellbeing practice, uh, stretching practice in itself. Um, and Joseph politely is again said that stretching was one of his sort of core focuses. So really if you didn't want to look at the first half of the book, you wanted to just learn how to stretch and teach stretches. You could read just the second part and hopefully when we bring out the Ebook, the idea is that if you were reading a breakdown of the a hundred, for example, it might say straights your pecs. So you'd be able to click on pics and it would show you a video of the pics. It'll show you a video of the hundred, it'll show you a video of the stretch, and then you'll be able to read about the stretch as well. So we're working on that.

The creation of the book is really just being myself and my partner Kenji who's a graphic designer as well. So she's been the two of us, the the photographs and the, I'll say modeling. Uh, she's more of a model than I am, but we did that and then she's done all the book design, all the 3D, um, graphics, which are really, I think they're fantastic. Jeez. Stripped down photographs and overlaid like you can see here muscles over the top and skeletons over the top of people doing the work so that you can see it under the skin. Um, and then I've done most of the writings, so we've really collaborated, we'll have the book on, um, our website of course, but we're hoping once we've got it done that we'll be able to put it on Amazon. We're designing it so that it can be converted to an ebook and it'll go on Amazon and iTunes. And also we'll probably have a print on demand at Amazon as well.

So if you want it to, just, the way it operates is that you can order the book and rather than us having to print off copies and hang onto them, they print one off as soon as you order it. So it's printed and shipped directly to the website is a innovations in polarities.com dot. A U and if you do order through that, we'll be able to sign it for you as well.

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1 person likes this.
Anthony, I love your and Kenyi's work! Thank you for providing this additional extended perspective of Joseph Pilates work!
Thank you Susan. We are happy you enjoy this extra dimension, and grateful to PA for helping to share it.
1 person likes this.
Anthony, I ordered your book last week and can not wait to receive it! Thank you for providing that extra dimension in stretching and the graphics look amazing!
Hi Sue, Thank you for ordering our new book. I truly hope you find it useful. I love the graphics I have to say!
Annie G
Hi Anthony, just ordered your book,
Thank you for your hard work. I'm sure it will help me as a Student Teacher, Bring my skills to a different level.
Im delighted to hear that Annie! I hoe you enjoy it. More on the way too!
Hi Anthony, I am a network teacher but spending a lot of time reading about fascial release & 'fitness'. Does your book have a radical perspective?
Sorry that should say fascial perspective. Thanks Hilary
1 person likes this.
Hi, love your book and method but there is no mat stretch video unfortunatly here on PY. Will you make/ post 1 please thanks
1 person likes this.
Thanks Babette, I'm glad you are enjoying the book. I will have to come back to PA sometime and make a mat video :)
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