Auld Lang Syne

Lest old acquaintance be forgot, let’s take a cup of the original work of “Papa Joe”, Joseph Humbertus Pilates. Boxer, self-defense instructor, bearer of tattoos as well as gymnast, inventive physiotherapist, and dance instructor, Joe continues to inspire 125 years after his birth.

I came across a photo that offered a closer look at some of Joe’s ink, and followed it back to the source, a photographer/screenwriter who is interesting in his own right. Take the time to check out I.C. Rapoport’s Pilates Galleries.

And why wait to begin your New Year’s Resolutions? Our first contrology class of the year meets January 1st, 2013 at the East End Aikikai Aikido Studio from 4:45 – 5:45 PM. 


Joseph Pilates

Axial Tilt

Today we celebrated the Winter Solstice…the shortest day and the longest night here in the Northern Hemisphere. From this point forward, the days will gradually get longer, and the nights will get shorter: we celebrate light returning to the world in many different ways, often exchanging presents.  A member of The League of Extraordinary Contrologists crafted a poem and shared it with myself and the rest of our group. I can’t thank The Bard enough for her gift; like the Grinch, my heart grew “3 sizes that day”! Happy holidays, all.


A Vist From St. Joseph (Pilates, That Is)


‘Twas the night before mid-winter, when all through the room,
The students were changing into workout costumes.
Soon their spines were stacked, like books on the floor,
And prepped for twisting, lengthening, and more.

Then feet were awakened, and stretching began,

While Amy revealed her Super Fun Push-Up Plan,
The students marveled at her skills (both physical and linguistic),
While noting that her tone seemed just slightly sadistic.

Then during an intense abdominal series,

While the class considered any number of theories,

I heard gasping and sighing, and “mat punctuation,”

I knew in an instant that poor Doug was in prostration.


Our little contrologist, so lively and quick,

Had us swimming in no time, with controlled flutter kicks.

Every core in the room was zipped up and across,

No sea urchins were harmed, (that would be a tough loss!)


“Curl in, curl in,” she reminds us, “Lengthen to lift,”

I thought to myself, this is such a great gift.

Beyond the leg circles, book tips, and laughter,

This class offers something so much sought after–


A group of people, all ages and sizes,

Who stick together no matter what problem arises.

Through changes in schedule, venue, and all,

We happily follow Amy, though we miss the big balls!




Happy Holidays to my fellow Extraordinary Contrologists!

–Lori Kantor, Dec. 2012






Pilates and Tolkein

How to connect “The Hobbit” to fitness? Both Joseph Pilates and J.R.R. Tolkien were shaped by experiences they endured during World War One.

Shake It

I watched a colleague defend her PhD thesis yesterday, and enjoyed the peculiar “picking at the scab” feeling of watching her reach a milestone I once sought. While wandering around my old academic haunt, I paged through a copy of the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, one of the main scientific journals for exercise physiologists. WBV, or whole-body vibration training, continues to intrigue physical therapists, athletes and coaches. So I looked further into this mode of exercise, and discovered 3 things: first, it improves performance ACUTELY, meaning that there are fitness gains in strength, power and flexibility immediately after training on a vibration plate; second, studies demonstrating longer-term strength gains from this form of training have been done primarily on older adults; and third, claims that WBV increases bone density in humans may have been greatly exaggerated. 

Curious? Shake your way on over here for more scholarly details.