Pilates, in a word, is exercise!
More accurately, it is corrective exercise, balancing the body through a series of exercises for physical conditioning developed by Joseph Pilates (1880 – 1968).
Originally his system of exercise was called Contrology, “the complete coordination of body, mind and spirit”, achieving uniform development and balance within the body, emphasising strong core or “powerhouse” development through use of imagery.
Benefits of the Pilates Method include:
- improved postural awareness
- enhanced functional movement
- balanced strength & flexibility
- increased body awareness
- improved balance, coordination & circulation
- improved performance in sports e.g. football, golf, skiing and cycling.
About Joseph Pilates
Pilates was originally a gymnast, diver and bodybuilder. When he moved to England in 1912, he earned a living as a professional boxer, circus-performer and self-defence trainer at police schools and Scotland Yard. Nevertheless, the British authorities interned him during World War I along with other German citizens in a camp on the Isle of Man. During this involuntary break, he began to intensively develop his concept of an integrated, comprehensive system of physical exercise, which he himself called “Contrology”. He studied yoga and the movement of animals and trained his fellow inmates in fitness and exercises. It is told that these inmates survived the great pandemic of 1918 due to their good physical shape.
After World War I, he returned to Germany and collaborated with important experts in dance and physical exercise such as Rudolf Laban. In Hamburg, he also trained police officers. When he was pressured to train members of the German army, he left his native country, disappointed with it’s political and social conditions, and he emmigrated to New York.
It is the mind itself, that builds the body