Types of Pilates and Today's Influential Teachers

Teaching supporting student lying on back in pilates class
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The Pilates method is an exercise system that is growing and changing at a rapid rate. As the popularity of Pilates increases, so do the number of teachers adding their own insights to the richness of Joseph Pilates work. Here are brief profiles of some of the Pilates teachers that are among the most influential today.

Moira Merrithew and Stott Pilates

Moira Merrithew was a professional dancer when injuries prompted her to study the Pilates method with Pilates elder, Romana Kryzanawska.

After two years of working with Kryzanawska, Merrithew and her husband, Lindsay G. Merrithew, co-founded Stott Pilates in 1988. They assembled a team of sports medicine and fitness experts to help them integrate modern principles of exercise science and spinal rehabilitation into the Stott Pilates program. Based in Canada, Stott Pilates is one of the leaders in contemporary Pilates.

Mari Winsor and Winsor Pilates

Thanks to a very successful infomercial campaign, Winsor Pilates is one of the best-known names in Pilates. Mari Winsor has developed a workout style that she calls "dynamic sequencing," which is meant to be a low-intensity body sculpting and calorie-burning workout.

A dancer, teacher, author and personal trainer, Mari Winsor has two Pilates studios in the L.A. area, and is known for her many celebrity clients.

    Rael Isacowitz and Rael Pilates

    With an extensive background in fitness science and Pilates, Rael Isacowitz is widely known as an international leader in "a contemporary and cutting edge approach to the works of Joseph Pilates."

    Isacowitz is the author of Pilates, a complete guide to mat work and apparatus exercises. Released in 2006, Isakowitz' book is already considered a classic, and it has been adopted as a training text by many Pilates instructor programs.

    Bob Liekens and Power Pilates

    Bob Liekens, another former dancer, studied many years with Pilates Elder, Romana Kryzanowska. Known as a "teachers' teacher," Liekens has devoted his teaching career to the traditional teachings of Joseph Pilates.

    He is currently the Director of Education for Power Pilates.

    Ron Fletcher and Fletcher Work

    Ron Fletcher was one of Joseph Pilates' original students. He was also a dancer in the Martha Graham dance company. He studied extensively with Clara Pilates and went on to evolve his own style of Pilates, Fletcher work. Expanding on the breath work that Joseph Pilates encouraged, Fletcher has developed structured breathing patterns that he calls percussive breathing. The Fletcher Towel Work and Fletcher Floor Work are also unique to the Fletcher Work system.

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