About Joseph Pilates
‘Pilates is complete coordination of body, mind and spirit’
Joseph Pilates was born in Dusseldorf in 1883. He was a frail and sickly child who suffered with asthma, rickets and rheumatic fever. This left him with poor bone structure and twisted limbs. He dedicated his entire life to improving his physical strength. His father introduced him to gymnastics, body building and boxing, and by the age of 14 he was fit enough to pose for anatomical charts. Pilates came to believe that the “modern” life-style, bad posture, and inefficient breathing lay at the roots of poor health. He ultimately devised a series of exercises and training techniques, and engineered all the equipment, specifications, and tuning required to teach his methods properly. This technique he called “The Art of Contrology.”
Joseph and his wife Clara founded a studio in New York City in the 1920’s and directly taught and supervised their students well into the 1960s. Joseph and Clara Pilates soon established a devoted following in the local dance and performing-arts community of New York. Well-known dancers abd screen legends such as Gregory Peck and Katherine Hepburn. Soon after it became known that ballerinas were attending the Pilates gym on 8th Avenue, society women followed.
Joseph Pilates wrote several books on fitness but never set up an official training programme. The result was that his disciples went on to teach their own individual versions of his method, many of which are still evidenced today.
Pilates technique in the 21st Century is still firmly rooted in Joseph Pilates’ original teachings. But the advances of exercise science have enabled teachers to adapt the technique into a safe effective form of exercise, that can be practiced by almost everyone.
It is this revolutionary approach to exercise that allows anyone to achieve the very best body they can. No matter what your starting point, Pilates puts the power to create improvements in your own hands.