Dr. Weil took a poll on his blog last week asking readers to vote on their favorite form of exercise. The choices were Yoga, Tai Chi, cardio, strength training, Pilates, and “other”. The most popular was Yoga with over 30% of the vote. That wasn’t too surprising. The lowest score was Pilates with only 5% of the vote. Pilates was lower than everything! I think Pilates is perceived as one of the strange exercise formats that most don’t understand. As I consider all the talk about “core workouts” today, Pilates should get more popular. Pilates is all about the core. It is more than just an abs class. Last week I started a new Pilates class at a church in the community. As I have said so many times before, I told some of my participants that Pilates is all about stillness with movement. Parts of the body will move; such as the arms and legs, while other parts are still. The core muscles are working to stabilize, to create stillness in the torso and that control helps to build core strength. Not all Pilates exercises are for everyone though. Women at risk for osteoporosis need to think about forward bending exercises and rolling which could lead to a vertebra fracture. The success of Pilates also requires focus and concentration and sometimes that can be the hardest part; turning attention away from the outside world and looking inward.