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Pilates is an exercise technique that was developed about 80 years ago and has had a growing popularity in the last 20. In the even more recent years it has become common to combine Pilates with other techniques such as yoga, ballet or even tango. So what exactly does that mean? It probably means something different in each case. There are a lot of attributes that makes Pilates “Pilates”. There is the choreography (the movements themselves), the specialized Pilates equipment and the principles (the philosophy behind the movements.) Some of these fusion techniques are simply adding in Pilates mat exercises into the movements of yoga or fitness training. Other times fusion classes may be incorporating the ideas of engaging the core to stabilize the lumbar spine, a uniquely Pilates principle. And some even use the Pilates equipment but have made up new exercises on them. Each of these examples may have some level of success. And I suppose it really boils down to what your goals are and why you have enrolled in the class in the first place. The thing that Pilates does best is simultaneously reeducate movement patterns while increasing strength and flexibility. The result is a happier, stronger, better aligned body. I can’t help but think that the best solution is to take Pilates on its own and then also take your ballet, tango yoga etc. Otherwise you may be missing out on the depth that Pilates has to offer. However, it is a testament to effectiveness of Pilates that so many other movement genres have tried to fuse with it. For Pilates based in the idea of alignment and strength come visit us at Mongoose Bodyworks, a boutique Pilates studio in Soho, NYC. Halle Clarke Mongoose Bodyworks Pilates, Soho, NYC