About Pilates

About Pilates

Core Strength. Balance. Flexibility.

The Pilates system, when taught by a properly trained instructor, goes beyond an exercise routine. The system proposes a new way of living in our bodies. By utilizing the mind for control, as opposed to unconscious movements that work only a “pet set” of muscles, Pilates trains the body to shift out of old patterns. The system connects movement to a stable core, building powerful, flexible muscles and spine, allowing for greater efficiency and ease of movement. The body gains strength and releases tension.

Benefits of Pilates
* Develops muscle power
* Deepens flexibility
* Corrects posture
* Improves awareness of the body
* Increases vitality
* Improves mental clarity / reduces stress

A Brief History
The Pilates system was developed by Joseph Pilates who was born in Germany in 1883. He suffered from several illness as a child and dedicated his entire life to improving his physical strength. This drove him to study gymnastics, martial arts, yoga and bodybuilding. By the age of 14, he was fit enough to pose for anatomical charts.

The method of Pilates, which he called “Contrology”, started to take shape when he was interned at a concentration camp while working in England during WWI. During this involuntary hiatus, he observed the movements of animals and trained his fellow inmates in fitness and exercise. He was also nurse and caregiver to inmates suffering from war injuries and disease. To aid in the recovery and rehabilitation of bedridden patients, Pilates attached supportive equipment to their beds, creating the foundation of the apparatus used in the Pilates system today.

In 1926, Pilates migrated to New York where he opened an exercise studio with his wife Clara. Their work rehabilitating and improving the physical well-being of many clients attracted dance legends George Balanchine and Martha Graham, who sent their students to Pilates for rehabilitation. Their work continued into the 1960s.

“Contrology involves the complete coordination of the mind, body, and spirit,” wrote Pilates, “Contrology is designed to give you suppleness, natural grace, and skill that will be unmistakably reflected in the way you walk, in the way you play, and the way you work.”

Joseph Pilates died in 1967 at the age of 83.