Online Pilates amidst the Global Pandemic of 2020

Bea Tagle

What a year it has been for all of us! Who would have guessed that this year a virus would shake economies, disable industries, and shut down borders all over the globe?Perhaps a sci-fi—or zombie!—movie... But we would never have bet this would actually be our reality.

Seemingly overnight, the lives we all knew changed dramatically. All of a sudden, we had to deal with the closing of countries, of cities, and of our Pilates studios.

With so much uncertainty, negativity, and suffering across humanity, what do we do? We move forward together. As a community, we move!

Our beloved Joe said, “Change happens through movement, and movement heals.” And he’s right. It is my hope that he is proud of how the Pilates community has not stopped moving and how we are taking advantage of technology in order to maintain our health, deepen our practice, and strengthen our bond! 

Though we are unsure about when “lockdowns” will be a thing of the past, that does not mean that life—and The Method—should be put on hold. Even though the studios may need to close from time to time, there are still a number of ways that we can adapt to the times and take advantage of the virtual world. A live streamed class still allows you to interact with both the instructor and your fellow Pilates practitioners, with the added benefit of being able to connect to so many people around the world! 

Whether you’re an instructor or a student, this is a good time to improve your practice, experience Pilates in a new way, and keep your body, mind, and spirit healthy. Though taking virtual classes might seem strange at first, there are a number of Pilates instructors that have made it work so effectively that you still get the same level of fulfillment that you would in a studio.

 

OnlinePilates – Missing A Human Element?

Many people are inclined to think that an online class would lack the level of engagement and that personal touch that you get from practicing and getting guidance in aPilates studio. While those fears are understandable, online Pilates classes may not be as disconnected as we might think! In fact, our instructors have been teaching and participating in virtual Pilates classes for years!

In a ThePilates Link Live Interview with Pilates legends Sandy Shimoda, Gloria Gasperi, and Miguel Silva, our instructors were very optimistic about the move into the digital space. Sandy even mentioned that she has been offering online classes for 8 years now!

“It's wonderful! I love in person classes but I have also come to love online classes, especially with the way I can meet people who are in other countries, in another time zones, who (otherwise) would have to pay a lot of money to come travel to be with me in person. I love that online classes allows us to reach beyond our borders,” said Sandy.

Gloria has also resorted online sessions! Interestingly enough, she started off withSandy. Without any Pilates studios around her home in Italy when she started out so Gloria turned to online Pilates classes. It provided her with the opportunity to keep learning The Method!

“Unfortunately,I couldn’t fly weekly to Los Angeles from Italy. You know, my private jet was not available,” Gloria mused, “So I said to Sandy: Okay, let’s do online!”

Gloria recalled, “In the beginning, it was of course a little weird. But then it was just amazing! Thanks to that, I started to teach my students online.”

With years of experience teaching online classes, we consider it an honor for Gloria andSandy to be teaching online classes with us at The Pilates Link! And though it did take some time to adapt to a different way of teaching better suited to online classes, Gloria says it has helped her be more precise with her instructions, and to take a step back to give her students the space they need to grow and deepen their practice.

“I feel less and less different between my online teachings and my presence teachings,” Gloria reflected.

What gets Miguel excited is the possibility of being able to connect with people all around the world! In a Live Interview by The Pilates Link, Miguel shared his passion for sharing Joe’s work and the role the digital world plays in connecting the world of Contrology

“It (OnlinePilates Classes) opens its doors to everyone. We meet more teachers and learn with them as well as the other way around. In the morning, it can be Australia and in the afternoon in the United States. It’s the connection—and that’s hereto stay,” Miguel expressed.

With online meetings and online Pilates classes here to stay, we invite you to try out a class on The Pilates Link, only with the most passionate and seasoned online instructors like Miguel, Gloria, and Sandy!

This brings us to our hopes and dreams for the future of Pilates and The Pilates Link.

 

The Future of The Method

There will always be room for Contrology in our world, as there will always be room for health and happiness! We hope that through The Pilates Link, we can continue to connect instructors and those who absolutely love and are committed to their practice. As we deepen our practice, we hope to also strengthen our bond as an online community, wherever in the world we may be, whether it’s through online classes or events that keep us grounded and remind us of the essence ofPilates.

Gloria said, “It (The Internet) is a great tool to stay connected and keep going with things. You just have to be smart to understand how to use it. Just like my son with the internet! If you have the tools to use it, it's full of opportunities!”

And so we’re here to continue helping you make use of this tool to transition through this tough year, improve your practice, and stay connected to the best instructors around the world.

“I definitely think that we’ve all been through a transition. All of us. And I do think that the online world is here to stay. I don’t know to what degree foreach studio, but I think it has become something that is accessible to us. I love that (more) people are (now) open to that,” Sandy explained, “I think that we can continue to see different ways that people will develop their online teaching and divide up their in-person and online teaching.”

It’s also interesting to see that these seasoned instructors are sharing what they’ve learned in their years of teaching online Pilates classes to the rest of the world! Miguel, for example, conducted a Free Class and Guide to Online Teaching on The Pilates Link, especially for our friends in Europe that are going through their second wave and set of lockdowns.

“I think the positive has more weight than the negative parts right now,”Miguel shared, “This is the huge positive side of it: connecting teachers around the world. And we need it! It’s just amazing.”

That being said, can online classes be as fulfilling as going to the studio? Our teachers certainly think so!

As the lockdowns around the world continue, for many people an online class is their only option. But that doesn’t mean that the experience is any less valuable. As we weather the pandemic and move to the future, there are also so many benefits to online Pilates. We can train with instructors who aren’t in our cities or areas. We can also choose the time that fits best with our schedule.

With this in mind, it will remain our goal at The Pilates Link to empower you to keep learning and progressing with your practice by giving you easy access to small, intimate classes taught by some of the best instructors from all over the world. We hope you can join us in building a close community of both students and instructors, and spread Contrology to as many people and as many places as possible!

Catch your favorite Classical Pilates instructors online weekly at The Pilates Link! View our schedule and book here.

Bea Tagle