Joseph Pilates was born in Germany in 1880 and started to develop his exercise system in the 1900’s. With an exercise background including yoga, martial arts and gymnastics he had a vision of an ideal lifestyle, attained through a balance of the physical, mental and spiritual. Pilates believed that happiness was achieved when the body was mastered. By renewing the spirit of thought and movement, the first step is taken towards stress reduction, graceful movement and greater enjoyment of life.
While interned during World War 1 in England, he worked as an orderly in a hospital and designed resistance training equipment for the patients by rigging springs to hospital beds. After World War 1 ended, Joseph Pilates moved to New York City in 1926 and opened a studio, close to the New York City Ballet studio. His first clients were dancers who were sent to Joseph to be “fixed”. He continually developed his exercise methods until his death in 1967.
It wasn’t until the 1990’s that the “secret” of dancers and performers became popular with athletes, models and actors and increasingly the general public. Today Pilates is used for a variety of reasons. A commitment to Pilates work promotes greater trunk and pelvic stability, as well as improving movement and muscle control around the spine.
The Pilates exercises aim to create muscle balance through the body while developing greater coordination of movement and control of the abdominals and breath. With the body working as a whole unit, muscles become lean and strong, rather than developing isolated strength and bulk.
Performed on the mat and specially designed equipment including the Reformer, Cadillac and Wunda-Chair, the unique approach to working the whole body efficiently is renowned for its long-term physical and mental benefits.
Pilates exercises use muscle control and correct alignment without resulting in post exercise muscle soreness and fatigue.
Joseph Pilates Quotes
“The acquirement and enjoyment of physical well-being, mental calm and spiritual peace are priceless to their possessors.”
“With body, mind and spirit functioning perfectly as a coordinated whole, what else could reasonably be expected other than an active, alert, disciplined person?”
"The science of Contrology disproves that prevalent and all-too-trite saying, "You're only as old as you feel." The art of Contrology proves that the only real guide to your true age lies not in years or how you THINK you feel but as you ACTUALLY are as infallibly indicated by the degree of natural and normal flexibility enjoyed by your spine throughout life."
“A few well-designed movements, properly performed in a balanced sequence, are worth hours of doing sloppy calisthenics or forced contortion."