Rael on BASI
I was in Australia, in 1989, and had been teaching Pilates for a decade, when I recognized the beginnings of the explosive growth the Pilates industry was about to experience. Of course, Joseph and Clara Pilates had begun developing their exercise method many years before and it had always had strong supporters. But this was different. I felt a strong surge of interest in this forward thinking method, with its emphasis on core strength, functional muscle development, body alignment and the mind-body connection.
Being a staunch advocate of the Pilates method, I realized the need for a structured teacher-training program. Until that point, most people (including myself) were trained by being apprentices in Pilates studios, a process which often took years. This was not negative, quite the contrary, but the growing demand for teachers was making this process impractical.
The industry needed teachers. Either future teachers were going to be trained well in a structured, curriculum-based program or they were going to go out into the community with minimal training and “wing it”. Few would have the luxury of spending years as an apprentice in a Pilates studio. And, without proper training, they would not be able to maintain the integrity of the method.
As a lecturer at the Wingate Institute of Physical Education in Israel, I had taught potential teachers and had been involved in curriculum and program development. I had danced for many years and recently completed my Masters Degree in Dance Studies (1986). I had been an avid and competitive athlete since my youth and had been practicing yoga since my early teens.
Given my experience in Pilates, my teaching credentials and requests from people to train them, I began to channel my passion for Pilates and my concern about its positive growth into creating my first teacher-training course. And so BASI Pilates® was born. It has gone on to become an industry leader in teacher training and education worldwide.
I believe our name, Body Arts and Science International®, speaks volumes about the course and the organization. We amalgamate the science of human movement with the art that is created when it is done correctly, aesthetically and passionately. We honor the purity of the method and maintain the legacy that was handed down by Joseph Pilates. As such, the entire original repertoire is addressed and all the equipment is studied. (I myself have spent many years mastering this repertoire, from the most fundamental movements to the most advanced - some of which are performed by very few people.)
We are committed to providing our students with a solid foundation in the Pilates method. This basic grounding is imperative if we are to do justice to the method, to the client and to you, the instructor. Yet, as we learn more about the science of human movement, and as the needs of modern society change, we recognize the need to evolve.
I strongly believe that, if Joseph Pilates were alive today, he would agree with our approach: namely, combining respect for tradition with openness to scientific and technological advances. This openness has produced the Block System, the Avalon System, Pilates Interactive and many other innovations, all of which have organically supplemented the pioneering work done by Joseph Pilates.
BASI Pilates stands for excellence, high standards, professionalism and hard work. By adhering rigorously to these concepts, we continue the groundbreaking work of Joseph Pilates and ensure the growth and success of our students, our graduates and of Pilates itself.