After kicking his smoking habit, unintended consequences for his back forced Mr Kgosi Moncho to seek a new exercise practice that would change his life’s trajectory forever. This is a story about adaptation and embracing change for your holistic wellbeing. In his own words…
My name is Kgosi Moncho, a 43 year-old, a South African Senior Pilates Instructor, currently practising in Hong Kong. The founder of Pilates was the German, Mr Joseph Hubertus Pilates, a young man who suffered asthma and poor health. Over time, and after much studying every form of exercise imaginable and the natural movement of both humans and animals, devised a series of exercises to not only aid with rehabilitation of injured soldiers during WWI but to help with day-to-day general health.
There are different types of Pilates, what most people do at gym is the so-called ‘contemporary’ version of Pilates which has been toned down to able to cater for the masses and even studios teach this modified version to counteract our sedentary lives. I believe there is benefit in all kinds of Pilates as long as you work with someone who has been well-trained, I started Pilates at gym to begin with and when I got to a Classical Pilates studio with apparatus a whole new world opened up!
My introduction into Pilates was a result of putting on weight, after having quit smoking, which led to lower back issues. A friend warned me about the possible side effects of anti-inflammatories and when I checked to see if this was indeed true, one of them was the perforation of the lining of the stomach. Needless to say I stopped taking them and had to start thinking of alternatives to aid my back.
I believe there is benefit in all kinds of Pilates as long as you work with someone who has been well-trained.
I worked as a book store manager at the time and in the buying process, Pilates was almost always recommended for lower back issues. On my daily swim I fell into conversation with a fellow swimmer who happened to be a Master Trainer and to cut a log story short I started studying part-time to become a trainer. I enjoyed it so much that I ended up doing it full-time , since then I have never looked back, except when doing back bends. My lower back issues were a thing of the past.
I’m a 3rd Generation, classically trained instructor on both mat and apparatus. I can teach up to advanced levels. What makes me 3rd Generation is purely because I follow the traditional method as Mr Pilates intended. What this means is that the 2nd generation Master Trainer (who trained me) worked with Mr Romana Kryzanowska (a Pilates elder), who worked with Mr Joseph Pilates himself
A lot of men would look at Pilates and sneer at it as easy or ‘girlie’ and it’s interesting that that is the perception because the founder was a man. In fact, before it was Pilates it was called Contrology because of the precision with which the movements have to executed. It requires one’s own full attention. What makes Pilates different from other forms of exercise is that we don’t go for muscle mass, but toning of muscles and flexibility. We build strength and flexibility, while focusing on breathing, precision and flowing movement.