WHAT IS PILATES?
Pilates is a uniquely effective form of exercise with a rich history that dates back to its founder, Mr. Joseph Pilates. The method emphasizes deep core strength and powerful controlled movements of the whole body. Intelligent and graceful, a Pilates workout increases flexibility, strength, posture, and balance. Toning lean long muscles with a focus on precise alignment and mind/body awareness, Pilates teaches the body to move efficiently from its center.
Athletic, dynamic, organized, challenging, fun, vigorous, playful, rhythmic. Energy moving out from a strong center.
THE ORIGINS & EVOLUTION OF THE PILATES METHOD
Born in Germany in 1888, Joseph Pilates was a movement enthusiast who developed a unique system of exercise which he called Contrology - the art and science of control. Enamored with the classical Greek ideal of a man who was balanced equally in body mind and spirt, Mr. Pilates came to believe that modern lifestyle, bad posture, and inefficient breathing were the roots of poor health. His answer to these problems was to design a series of vigorous physical exercises that help correct muscular imbalances, improve posture, coordination, balance, strength and flexibility, as well as to increase breathing capacity and organ function. We now know (and love!) his technique as the Classical Pilates Method.
Mr. Pilates brought his ever-expanding method to NYC in 1926 and opened the very first Contrology studio in Midtown Manhattan. He was bold, full of life, and passionate about his work and its potential for changing people’s bodies and lives. He trained each body as an individual and continued to diversify his repertoire. He invented, built, and patented a variety of machines based on spring resistance that could be used to perform these exercises. His work attracted many choreographers of the time such as Martha Graham and George Balanchine as a means to rehabilitate injury and heal the body holistically. Ultimately it was the dance community who truly recognized the value of Joseph Pilates system and his deep understanding of the human body.
Mr. Pilates died in 1967 propelling several of his devoted students, then masters in their own right, to open their own studios and carry on his teachings. These teachers are referred to as “first generation” teachers or the Pilates “Elders”, and are very well-respected in the industry. Those of us who had the honor to learn from them are known as “second generation” teachers, and “third generation” teachers from there. While preserving and respecting the history of the Pilates Method, these Classical instructors have shaped and progressed the original work by integrating the latest in movement science and addressing the needs of our current population.