"In ten sessions you will feel the difference; in twenty, you will see the difference; in thirty, you will have a whole new body."
- Joseph Pilates
What is Pilates:
Pilates is a method of body conditioning aimed at strengthening the core muscles of the body in order to better support the spine in daily activity. Developed by Joseph Pilates, a boxer and gymnast who also studied yoga and martial arts, Pilates encompasses over 500 controlled, precise movements performed on a floor mat or special apparatus, designed to lengthen, strengthen, and stretch muscles without adding bulk. This non-impact resistance training eliminates stress on your joints making the method versatile, safe, and effective for all ages and fitness levels. The Pilates Method encompasses the principles of stabilization, control, concentration, flow, breath, and precision - strengthening both the body and the mind. Your entire body will feel free of old tensions and capable of new challenges. Your mind will be left refreshed and energized. Whether you are young or old, man or woman, athletic or new to exercise looking for a safe and effective workout, Pilates will change your body!
The Pilates Method of Body Conditioning develops the body uniformly and corrects posture, restores vitality, invigorates the mind and elevates the spirit.
History of Pilates:
Joseph Hubertus Pilates was born in 1880 in Dusseldorf, Germany. A frail child, Joseph suffered from asthma, rickets and rheumatic fever. A strong determination to overcome these illnesses and to improve his physical health and appearance bred a keen interest in body conditioning. As a result of this determination, Joseph Pilates became an accomplished skier, diver, gymnast and boxer. By the time he was 14, he was fit enough to be modeling for anatomical charts.
While in England when WWI broke out, Joe was interned in a camp for German nationals and worked as a nurse. Confined to an infirmary, he created a rehabilitation program for bedridden soldiers by attaching springs to hospital beds. It was then that he began developing the exercises he later called “Contrology.” This system formed the foundation for his style of body conditioning and specialized equipment, which he brought to New York City when he opened the first Pilates Studio in 1926. Once established in New York, Pilates attracted the attention of dancers and choreographers, most notably Martha Graham, George Balanchine, and Jerome Robbins. His technique and exercises were to spread quickly among the dance world. Many of today’s Pilates teachers have a background in dance.In just 80 years, the number of people practicing Pilates worldwide is estimated to be near 15 million with over 15,000 instructors. Over the past 20 years, famous Pilates advocates like Madonna, Jennifer Anniston, and Dustin Hoffman have increased public awareness of the benefits and results of Pilates. In recent years, Pilates has entered the mainstream of health and wellness, and today is recommended by many health professionals such as physiotherapists, orthopedists, neurologists and chiropractors as the ideal exercise to develop strength after many forms of illness or injury and to combat the stresses and strains caused by poor working conditions or bad postural habits (caused by everyday living). Pilates is far more than a collection of exercises, rather a living discipline that continues to be developed and refined through constant use and observation.