Debbie Young Asks: Can Pilates Help Us Stay Strong During a Pandemic?

May 06, 2020

Today, Pilates truly has a chance to prove its worth for our overall health. Over 20 years ago in my initial training, I learned that during the Spanish Flu of 1918, when there was a world pandemic, none of the followers of Joseph Pilates interned on the Isle of Man succumbed to the illness. Mr. Pilates stated that if individuals practiced the prescribed exercises on a daily basis, not only would they  NOT get sick, but they would come out stronger and healthier, despite being housed in an internment camp. Now that was a pretty grandiose promise on Mr. Pilates’ part.

Many of us who learned this “fact vs. Pilates lore,” were either awed by this statement (me), or their radar went up and said, “Ya, right!” There is no way to prove that this was in fact fact — or fiction. However, my teacher and mentor Jay Grimes burst my bubble when he stated that “of course no one got the flu, they were cloistered on an island!” While this is certainly true, I still feel sure that doing Pilates during a pandemic can improve our immune systems, and will most certainly make us feel better. It feels like a challenge of sorts — can the regular practice of Pilates indeed stave off the dreaded virus?

Cut to the here and now. Pilates has a real time chance to make a statement in the face of this pandemic: Will Pilates devotees remain strong and healthy regardless of what the environment throws our way? We will have to wait and see; but in the meantime, I’m using the promise of good health as yet another phenomenal reason to continue to deepen my Pilates practice.

About Debbie Young

Debbie Young has studied Pilates for over 20 years. In 2005 she segued her career from special education teacher to Pilates teacher and from that point on, she has worked ceaselessly to expand her knowledge and understanding of the Pilates method.

Working for many years at Vintage Pilates, Debbie had the unique opportunity to learn from renown “first-generation” teacher, Jay Grimes, who apprenticed and worked directly with Joseph and Clara Pilates in New York. Debbie completed Jay Grimes’ seminal graduate programs, The Work™ and Teaching The Work™.

Debbie teaches in the Los Angeles area and online, and has traveled internationally to provide workshops and lessons to other Pilates instructors.

To book a session with Debbie, contact her at [email protected]