Classical Pilates teachers teach within the order of exercises Joseph Pilates created for the reformer and mat. Why is there an order to Pilates exercise?
Why? Because Mr. Pilates’ order appropriately warms up the body, challenges and cools it down. His order strengthens and stretches the torso, arms and legs in all planes of movement. His order challenges clients in the appropriate progression with and then against gravity: lying down, sitting up, kneeling, standing.
What about on other apparatus? Classical Pilates teachers use the previously mentioned progression as well as all of the information s/he gathered during the reformer and mat portion of the session to pick which exercises to do on other apparatus and which order to do them in. If the session is primarily on an additional piece of apparatus, like the low/high chair or cadillac/tower, then a Classical Pilates teacher works to create a session with that gravitational progression and the theory behind the reformer and mat exercise orders to create a well-balanced and challenging session for her client.
What was Mr. Pilates’ intentions? That the session is a strong full body and mind workout, appropriate for the client that centers around abdominal strength. Note that I said “workout”. Indeed. Clients are meant to exercise to their fullest potential. We must take into account the person in front of us adapting the workout for each client’s individual needs. A relatively normal, healthy person ought to be challenged in stamina, strength, stretch and stability. Those who are ill or special cases in any way still get challenges, but we take their condition into account when challenging stamina. We have choices.
Source: The Vertical Workshop