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Book & DVD Reviews

With so many books, DVDs and articles on Pilates to choose from, here are reviews by fellow teachers and myself to help build or add to your library. We would love you to send in any reviews of books or DVDs you have enjoyed.

The next 5 book reviews where kindly done by George Cooke, owner of By George Pilates

Breath by James Nestor

This book is awesome. Read it. Everyone. Seriously.

James Nestor spends time trying out a whole heap of bonkers breathing methods and so knows first hand about each. It’s an easy read as he talks in detail about the health benefits of each method. Breathing slower, breathing less, breathing more, even chewing… It’s all in there. Jeez, this man even blocks his nose up for a whole month to prove how bad mouth breathing is… He commits to his art!!

I’ve spent years banging on to my clients about the benefits of better breathing, and there is heaps of info out there on it if you want to find it. But for me this book has everything and is an informative and entertaining read too.

Seriously, read it. You’re welcome.

Move Your DNA by Katy Bowman

We are how we move. We’ve changed our movement habits as a species. Typically our modern world has us sleeping in beds, sitting in cars and sofas, exercising for an hour a week. But our bodies are those of hunter-gatherers and we’ve lost many of the natural movement patterns that our bodies are designed to do. Walking, crawling, squatting, hanging, floor sitting.

Her logical approach to movement is that it should be ‘nutritious’ in just the way our food should. We don’t just need to move more but to move better.

This book explores the movements that benefit our bodies in an approachable, kind, gentle and non-threatening way. Katy Bowman has written a heap of brilliant books of which this is just one.

What The Foot? By Gary Ward

This book is a game changer. Gary Ward challenges so many assumptions. Primarily he addresses the body in motion, rather than at rest (or on a physio bench/doctor’s bed)… How the body works when it is in movement, in particular, in giat, is the crux of his work. He uses his work to help the reader understand where their centre is. the body’s three dimensional movement, how our body works as a whole system, and ultimately how integral our feet are to the function of the body.

His Anatomy In Motion programme is stacked full of brilliant content. Check him out.

The Mindbody Prescription by John R Sarno

This one really challenged me and continues to do so.

I know logically about the connection between mind and body but this book truly shakes my beliefs around the extraordinary power that our mind can have over our body.

It discusses the musculoskeletal pain epidemic that grips the modern world and suggests that repressed emotions are responsible. I’ve read it a few times and every time I find my scepticism kicks in… However deep down I also feel it makes sense.
Back pain is something I’ve suffered with for years.

It is what led me to Pilates many many moons ago. But what if my back pain is not from a snowboarding injury but from repressed emotions?
It’s a book that feels like it should be utter nonsense and yet makes perfect sense. If you have suffered with pain for prolonged periods then this is a fascinating and possibly very challenging read.

The Actor and His Body by Litz Pisk

I used to be an actor and trained at GSMD 20 years ago. Movement was a fundamental part of our training. Not dance or choreography, but Pure Movement, coming from the intention, with meaning and movement interlinked. It was the groundwork that was used to develop us into actors who can stand on stage with honesty, fully present, and in their body.

We spent hours training our voices and our bodies and our minds. I still use what I learnt there all those years ago and find the whole body approach to movement to be logical and enjoyable.

The Injured Dancer by Rachel-Anne Rist and Jack Kennedy ISBN 0723608946

A review by Heather Michaelides, owner of Pilates on the Avenue.

If you’re looking for a quick reference for any pains that you encounter with your Barre or Pilates clients then this is a good jumping off point to investigate how to plan for recovery and teaching points. Read more

Diastasis Recti -The Whole-Body Solution to Abdominal Weakness and Separation by Katy Bowman

A review by Kathy Innes, Owner of Back Your Body.

This is one of my “go to” books when I’m being asked by a client “I’ve been told to do my pelvic floor exercises, but it’s not making any difference.” Or, “I’ve been told my stomach muscles have been split, and I need to strengthen them.”
Read more

The Complete Book of Pilates for Men by Daniel Lyons Jnr

I absolutely love this book! Although it is written for men, don’t be misled, it is a real treasure, full of inspiring variations and fresh cues. Read more

The Pilates Pamphlet: Return to Life Through Contrology by Joseph Pilates and Fredrick Rand Rogers

This well-written, fun document is a little piece of Pilates history! Crammed with less known quotes about Joe and the Method as well as clearly stating what Pilates is and what it is not, it is a must-have item for your Pilates library! Read more

Pilates by Rael Isacowitz

This rather hefty book is promoted as “Your complete guide to mat and apparatus exercises” so I am hoping it is the Bible of Pilates exercises! Read more

Standing Pilates by Joan Breibart

I first heard of the Standing Pilates repertoire from Kathy Corey, it used to be an integral part of Mat classes in New York but has since been lost to the mainstream. Although this book does not feature the orginal sequence, it has many excellent adaptations to the Mat repertoire to really enhance your sessions and give effective variations for clients with conditions such as Osteoporosis.
Read more

Pilates Style Magazine

Pilates Style magazine is the only magazine devoted to Pilates that I know ofother than online publications. I have subscribed to the magazine for 3 years and I thought I would review the latest edition for you all.
Read more

The Pilates Body by Brooke Siler

This is the first Pilates book I bought and I still use it 15 years later. For me, this book should be on every Pilates instructor’s book shelf.
Read more

A Movement of Movement

“We are living in a historical movement, a phenomenon of human experience. The movement is about us, it’s about today, and it’s about exploring our full potential, but what does that mean? That is what A Movement of Movement is.”

When this film was first being created and produced there was a definite excitement and buzz about it. Once launched everything went quiet, now I know why!
Read more

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