What is Pilates?

"Pilates develops the body uniformly, corrects wrong postures, restores physical vitality, invigorates the mind, and elevates the spirit."

-Joseph Pilates

WHO IS JOE: Joe Pilates (1880-1968) created the exercise system called "Contrology." He was born in Dusseldorf, Germany and as a child was sickly and frail. He suffered from many illnesses including Rickets and Asthma. Due to his poor health as a child he always strived to be in the best shape he could be in. By age 14 Joe was a model of anatomy charts. In 1912, Joe and his brother moved to England where he was in the circus and performed as a gymnast. In addition, he was hired by the Scotland yard as a trainer for self defence. 


He began creating his system while interned as a prisoner of war during WW1. It was here that he first devised his system to help the injured and weak. Joe created his own equipment out of springs from the bed, some of the equipment he made up then is still being used today. After the war, he immigrated to the New York City with his wife Clara and opened his studio called "Contrology." He immediately found success with many dancers and athletes. His students continue to teach his work which is known as Classical style pilates. After Joe's death, his wife Clara continued teaching his work and is known for modifying and creating exercises for those needing rehabilitation.


PILATES FOR ALL: Pilates is known for being low impact which means easy of the joints but it is also challenging as it incorporates the whole body. There are many modification to Pilates making it a great for rehabilitation. Pilates genius is evident in his equipment (called 'apparatus'). They include the reformer which was named for "reforming the body." Other equipment include the cadillac, wunda chair, electric chair, ladder barrel, and spine corrector. 

JOE'S PRINCIPLES: Alignment, Breathing, Concentration, Control, Centering, Dynamic, Flow of Movement, Precision, Relaxation, and Stamina.

“Change happens through movement and movement heals.”

-Joseph Pilates

Joseph Pilate
Joseph Pilates
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