5 Mind-Body workouts that are about to Break out
What will be the next pilates? Here are 5 new mind-body modes that could break out to the masses
In the 1930s in a New York studio, a revolutionary mind-body practice called "Contrology" began to gather a following among dancers in George Balanchine's and Martha Graham's companies. The concept of Contrology is what we now commonly refer to as isolation: using mental focus to target our recruitment of specific muscles. A German gymnast named Joseph Pilates was the guru of Contrology. And pilates, as we now call it, remained an underground movement (pun unavoidable) for about six decades, preserved for us by the dance community, until it broke out to the masses in the late 1990s via L.A.'s celebrity-fitness culture.
Now every gym and professional sports team in America has a pilates program.
But pilates is a spiritual practice as much as it's a physical workout in the sense that it literally brings your attention to the core of your being, to the muscles and tissues deep in your torso and those that wrap around your bones. It takes so much attention to isolate these muscles that you can only execute the movements if you totally withdraw your awareness from work-a-day thoughts. Pilates routines draw you out of your mind, bring you into your body — and into a quasi-meditative state.
A lot of science and evolution of body consciousness has taken place in the 75 years since Joseph Pilates brought his eponymous practice to New York City. What are the cutting-edge mind-body modes hovering below the radar today?
What will break out as the next pilates?
Click through the radio buttons in the slide-rule below and check out our nominees — from “fusion workouts” like Nia, S Factor and 5rhythms to proprioceptive training, arguably the nanotechnology of fitness, and the high-tech Gyrotonics. They are as rad in the middle of America's Great Recession as pilates was in the Big Apple during the Great Depression.
NEXT: Nia, a post-modern, mind-body workout