When we create something ourselves, it can be a difficult step to share our creation with the world. What will people think? Will they like it? Will they criticize or praise? Will it be a success? I have always followed the words of Aristotle, who famously said, “there is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing and be nothing”.
When I was young, I suffered from a lot of back pain. I was born with a spine defect and that led to poor posture which made my problem worse. Hours spent playing sports and practising the piano further added to my problems. I tried many things to help, but Pilates was the thing that really changed my life. It enabled me to live a full life, to run marathons, to snowboard, surf, play golf and never think twice about my back before trying something new. From that day forward, I had a passionate belief that Pilates could help many people improve their quality of life.
In the early days, whilst still practising and studying Pilates I was worked in the City of London as an Insurance Manager. I continue to this day working as a Senior Business Consultant so my life has an excellent balance.
I travelled the world teaching Piates and learning (we never stop learning, and anyone who says any different is very sadly mistaken). As well as Pilates, I was interested in kundalini and other methods of functional training. I also developed a deep love of meditation which took me to the Buddhist Temples of Thailand. Whilst there, I also discovered and studied meridians, becoming qualified in Thai Massage. It was not just the body that interested me. I had always been interested in psychology, in what I saw as “total fitness”. I studied Buddhist psychology and other modern concepts such as Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP).
As I travelled teaching Pilates, within my subconscious there was a seed that was growing, an idea that I could use all my knowledge to create a different type of Pilates that reflected the ancient and modern. I am classically trained, and it pains me to see some of the new systems that claim to be “Pilates” when they are clearly nothing of the sort. So I took my time to think about how my new system could stay true to the principles of Pilates, to my principles, but how I could add to the experience my own knowledge, character and ideas.
It was important for to me to create a system from my heart, a system where everything has meaning and purpose. In my opinion there are too many systems and teachers who teach not from their heart, but from their bank balance. To quote Einstein, “Nothing truly valuable arises from ambition or from a mere sense of duty.”
From this melting pot evolved my system, and whilst meditating it became obvious to me that I should call it Pilates EVO©, as EVO is an English abbreviation of evolution.
I believe that BLOGS should be as short (and hopefully sweet) as possible, so what in as few words as possible is my system about?
During my travels I was disappointed to see that many people treated people Pilates as purely a physical system. So one of my main aims was that Pilates EVO© expands the mind and body element of Pilates by incorporating Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Mindfulness Meditation techniques and mantras to maximise the psychological and physical benefits, making clients emotionally, mentally and spiritually fitter whilst still improving motor fitness such as agility, balance, speed, co-ordination, reaction time and power.
Pilates EVO© is still predominantly Pilates, but it also draws on the thousands of years of teachings from Kundalini yoga and meridian stretches to further increase muscular strength, endurance and flexibility, and help prevent injury and improve performance for life and sport.
Pilates EVO© has a constant flow of movement with combinations of moves called Rites created using the sacred numbers 3, 7 and 21 linked by transitional movements. The sequences have different levels progressing muscular fitness using repetitions, range of motion, rate and resistance. This creates a system that will remain challenging to a wide range of training goals from elite athletes, people seeking everyday fitness, to clients rehabilitating following accident or injury. Whilst at its lowest levels Pilates EVO© is appropriate for beginners to Pilates, the beauty of the system means that at higher levels it can provide even the most experienced and advanced athletes with a very challenging work-out.
Music has always been a massive part of my life. I am a classically trained pianist and I play guitar, sing and write songs. I wanted every detail of EVO to maximise the total experience, so it has its own unique uplifting soundtracks mixed in London designed to enable clients to really connect with how their body is moving and working, giving a deep and rewarding experience.
It was very important to me to ensure that the teachers I trained to deliver Pilates EVO© understood all of the theory, spirituality and science behind the system. Pilates EVO© can be practised as a purely physical system , but by doing so the student is missing out on the deeper potential of the system. I did not want the training to be just another weekend studying choreography and creating robots. Every EVO© teacher has to feel the system in their heart, if not I will not pass them. They must understand where the system comes from, otherwise they could not possibly be able to teach it properly. Pilates EVO© offers an extensive technical, in-depth anatomical teacher training program that includes Foundation and Advanced level qualifications, and seven specialist modules (including EVO Tactility© that teaches appropriate contact and cueing, EVO Forever Young© for the over 60’s and EVO Pregnancy©) enabling teachers to become experts in many areas.
I accept Pilates teachers from all schools of Pilates into my training program, but everyone who comes to the education must have a formal recognisable Pilates qualification. Part of the educations are aimed at giving teachers the skills and knowledge to enable them to become better teachers; not just better Pilates EVO© teachers, but in anything they teach. The knowledge they gain can also be used in everyday life in relationships with friends, partners and family.
I do not see Pilates EVO© as something I own or something I must have absolute control over. Dictatorships rarely last long. I wanted the system to be flexible so another aspect of Pilates EVO© is that at Advanced Level, teachers are empowered to create their own combinations of moves, so of which I use at future educations. To me this creates an ever evolving system that every qualified teacher can enhance with their own direction and imagination. Pilates EVO© is a community with all members contributing with ideas and energy.
Of course Pilates EVO© will not be for everyone. I expect and even welcome the negative comments because every positive value has its price in negative terms. I see negativity as an opportunity for me to explain more. I am happy that the positive comments have far outweighed the negative, and that the vast majority of people can see what it is I am trying to achieve and that I am passionate about it. So even if they do not fully agree with my methods, they respect my reasons for trying.
I feel blessed that Pilates EVO© is being taught throughout Europe and Russia and I now have Pilates EVO© teachers in over 12 countries. Its amazing growth has only been limited by the fact that I insist on training each and every potential EVO teacher personally, but that will never change.
Life is always moving forward, always changing, always evolving. When we awaken to the fact that we cannot stop or control change, that we should embrace change, then we are able to move forward as well. From this philosophy I created Pilates EVO©.
We should never forget our past. It built the foundation that our present so depends. But the past is not an excuse to stay still and not plan for a different future.
If you would like more details about the system, about how to become a Pilates EVO© teacher, about hosting an education or masterclass, or you just want to chat, then please contact me via Facebook or email the team on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chris is an international Pilates and functional training presenter and educator based in London and Barcelona, Spain. He is the creator of Pilates EVO©. He also created Pilates Carnival and Fitness Carnival, conventions where all profits go to local children’s charities. He organises fitness holidays and sports holidays in Barcelona, as well as retreats. For more information about training with Chris in Barcelona, please click on Barcelona Bienestar. To learn more about Chris, please read Just who is Chris Hunt anyway? You can also subscribe by completing the form on the this BLOG to receive articles and special offers straight to your inbox.
Chris pays all profits made from this BLOG to his charity partners. More details can be found by clicking on www.chrishuntwellness.com and selecting the “charity partners” tab.