The Pilates Method is a unique approach to exercise that develops body awareness, improving and changing the body's postural and alignment habits whilst increasing flexibility and ease of movement. Everyday activities such as sitting, standing, running, playing sports, going to the gym and dancing may strengthen some muscle groups, but not all. Muscle imbalance can lead to bulky shortened muscles, fatigue, discomfort, pain and in extreme cases immobility. The Pilates method creates a balanced workout to condition the whole body.
The Pilates teacher uses their knowledge of the anatomy to create a comprehensive exercise programme for each client with the aim of restoring a greater sense of balance, strength and vitality throughout the body. It is this holistic approach that sets the Method apart from many other forms of exercise. Indeed, osteopaths, physiotherapists and general practitioners are now recommending Pilates as one of the safest and beneficial forms of exercise today.
Joseph Pilates was born near Düsseldorf, Germany in 1880. As a child he suffered from asthma, rickets and rheumatic fever, to help strengthen his own body he created a
body conditioning system, his determination led to him becoming an accomplished gymnast, diver and skier
During World War I, he was interned with other German nationals and it was during this time that he further developed his technique of physical fitness.
Pilates immigrated to the USA in the early 1920's opening a 'body-conditioning studio' with his wife Clara in New York City in 1926. The studio featured the apparatus that he designed to enhance his rehabilitation work. It soon became very popular with the dance community, offering dancers a chance to improve their technique or recover from injuries. Very quickly he became the best-kept secret in New York. The public took note and nowadays, one can find Pilates studios all over the world. Today, many famous athletes, dancers, models, actors, as well as business professionals, housewives, and retirees are improving their lives with Pilates.
“Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness. In order to achieve happiness, it is imperative to gain mastery of your body. If at the age of 30 you are stiff and out of shape, you are old. If at 60 you are supple and strong then you are young." Joseph H. Pilates