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72 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the complete Pilates mat method
Having reached the final exercise in the beginners level, which has taken me six months, I thought now would be a good time to write a review of this excellent book. If you're like me and want an exercise programme you can do in your own time and space; that fits into your daily routine without the need to travel to a gym or loads of equipment to set up then Pilates...
Published on 28 Dec 2005 by Russ

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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Exercises are mostly quite hard
I found this book to be full of exercises but not many for the beginner or injured. I also don't like the way this book, and other pilates books, don't address the fact the multifidus often isn't co-contracting with the core after and during back injuries so performing the exercises without addressing this can make you hurt worse. If possible I would say have some basic...
Published on 14 July 2008 by T. Grant


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72 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the complete Pilates mat method, 28 Dec 2005
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This review is from: The Complete Classic Pilates Method: Centre Yourself with this Step-by-Step Approach to Joseph Pilates' Original Matwork Programme (Paperback)
Having reached the final exercise in the beginners level, which has taken me six months, I thought now would be a good time to write a review of this excellent book. If you're like me and want an exercise programme you can do in your own time and space; that fits into your daily routine without the need to travel to a gym or loads of equipment to set up then Pilates is the answer. If you also share my suspicion of claims of a new body from a couple of ten minute sessions per week for a month or two it follows you will be seeking a no-nonsense, honest and clearly laid out method - Miranda Bass's book in my opinion is precisely that.
The introductory pages give you strong impression of the reverence Miranda feels for Joseph Pilates legacy and the responsibility in teaching others, whether it be direct coaching or via a book. There is an equally strong impression that you're receiving information from someone who genuinely wishes you success but wants to emphasis that like all health and exercise regimes, there is no quick fix. To quote from 'about the author' pages, "many therapies advocate a 'letting go' of oneself in order to find freedom. I believe that freedom, especially to move, comes only through discipline and effort". This, I feel, is the key and this is just what I was looking for in a programme to follow and I have to say that my life has changed dramatically in the six months since I started.
After the introductory chapters, you are given practical advice about clothes to wear, buying a mat, using mirrors, health considerations before starting etc. and then onto becoming aware of your posture, bodyshape, and a thorough explanation of the importance of you lower abdominals, back, alignment and breathing before starting the exercises proper.
These are colour keyed into beginners, intermediate and advanced. A very clever touch is the fact that some of the beginners exercises are 'easier' variations of the same in the intermediate and advanced levels that frankly would be dangerous for an unfit person to carry out. This means of course that when you reach these exercises you're already proficient in the basic moves and breathing and just have to concentrate on a change of arm or leg position for example. At each step of the way you always have clear instructions and pictures - some of which are sequenced - and invaluable 'check points' to emphasise the particular areas of importance in each exercise and how your body will try and cheat when faced with challenge and effort!
As I'm exercising alone, I've supplemented this book with one of Lynne Robinsons' DVDs (Body Control 9) so I can check the speed at which Pilates exercises in general are carried out - and I was very pleased to find I'm doing everything spot on! All credit to Miranda Bass's prose style.
In conclusion, of all the Pilates books on the market I doubt you can find better than this; the title is accurate - The Complete Classic Pilates Method; allied to no-smoking, a healthy diet, and little or no booze, your body deserves this book!
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book has it all - I love it!, 11 Jun 2005
By 
N. Rose (Norway) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Complete Classic Pilates Method: Centre Yourself with this Step-by-Step Approach to Joseph Pilates' Original Matwork Programme (Paperback)
This book has everything. It has an introduction to all the basic moves, with pictures and how to perform them, and what you need to think about to do them correctly. There are exercies for the hole body with step-by-step descriptions and pictures. The book has 3 dificulty levels on most of the exercises, from the basic movement to the advanced, for which you can use when you get stronger and more used to the movements.
The only con is that some of the descriptions are so long, that you might want someone to read them to you when you do the exercise... But you might want someone to do and watch the exercises with you anyway, so you know that you are doing them right... :O)
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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars pilates pure and simple, 31 Jan 2004
By 
lucy k anker (guildford Great Britain) - See all my reviews
Of all the pilates books I have read this has to be the most exciting and challenging one.
Classic pilates are rediscovered and different levels are
clearly pictured and explained. In addition to the exercises
that are demonstrated in most books Miranda Bass goes one stage further and adds in more challenging exercises at the end.
Idealy the reader of this book will be someone who has practised pilates before. However, the superb photos that demonstrate the power of pilates can be inspiration to all.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Pilates book, 11 Feb 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: The Complete Classic Pilates Method: Centre Yourself with this Step-by-Step Approach to Joseph Pilates' Original Matwork Programme (Paperback)
You wont find a better book on matwork pilates,no equipment needed, everything is covered from the background of pilates to the warm up.180 pages showing lots of clear picures, instructions and info for exercise variations for the beginner intermediate or advanced. And for the price this is a must have.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars As good as they say (with a few caveats for the beginner), 11 July 2006
This review is from: The Complete Classic Pilates Method: Centre Yourself with this Step-by-Step Approach to Joseph Pilates' Original Matwork Programme (Paperback)
I won't repeat all the glowing things that previous reviewers have said about this book, only to say I agree, I agree, I agree... but...

I think someone should speak to the few bits of the book -- just the first 8 pages -- that might turn off the unwary person who is not already a devotee of Joseph Pilates.

First, there are two tendencies with almost all forms of Pilates-based exercises that turns off many average people coming to it from, for lack of a better word, a physiotherapy imperative: (a) most of the instructors seem to be former dancers or gymansts, who only know about normal human body problems (i.e., overweight, lack of muscle tone, poor diet, etc.) second hand, and (b) there is this guru-devotion to Pilates himself that can make some people a bit uncomfortable. This book has both in the opening pages.

That said, the book is solid on information and clear in it's presentation of the actual, historical Pilates Method.

Not for the beginner, though. As the author says, "This book is suitable for people who are virtually pain free and over twelve years old up to any age. I hope the instructions will also be useful to teachers of the method."
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5.0 out of 5 stars For the original pilates fan, 16 Jan 2014
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If you are looking for clear explanations of the original exercises this is perfect. Many modern pilates classes and books have exercises modified for the average fitness levels. Joseph Pilate's original Contrology 34 was designed for dancers, bodybuilders and athletes of "above average fitness". If you are fit and healthy the original sequence is amazing: it is great fun, relieves back tension and rebalances muscles overused in sport specific training - and this book makes the original sequence accessible to everyone. Clear pictures and instructions will take the healthy beginner from learning the forms to completing the full sequence The original exercises do more than just core strength - many were developed from Yoga and have done as intended also balance the endocrine systems. Use this in conjuction with Joseph Pilates original book, Return to Life through Contrology (which is short on precise explanation but has some additional tips) and you will have a good source for practicing Classical Pilates - Contrology. Note - this is not suitable for people recovering from back injury - if injured you need a teacher not a DVD or book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book very clear and easy to follow., 10 Dec 2012
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Very clear and easy to follow. Good illustrations, useful descriptions of how to qchieve each move. A must for anyone learning Pilates.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, 18 Oct 2011
By 
R. Recarey (UK) - See all my reviews
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great value for money, book like new and very quick delivery. This book has the most common Pilates exercises and is a good book both for clients and for Pilates Instructors as a reference guide.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Exercises are mostly quite hard, 14 July 2008
By 
T. Grant - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Complete Classic Pilates Method: Centre Yourself with this Step-by-Step Approach to Joseph Pilates' Original Matwork Programme (Paperback)
I found this book to be full of exercises but not many for the beginner or injured. I also don't like the way this book, and other pilates books, don't address the fact the multifidus often isn't co-contracting with the core after and during back injuries so performing the exercises without addressing this can make you hurt worse. If possible I would say have some basic one to one sessions with an instructor before using a product like this one. The exercises look easy but they're not and it's very easy to do them wrong if you exercise alone.
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