“Pilates develops the body uniformly, corrects wrong postures, restores physical vitality, invigorates the mind, and elevates the spirit!”
- JOSEPH H. PILATES
The Pilates method of exercise was first created by Joseph Hubertus Pilates in the early 20th century. A chronically ill child, Pilates later became a body builder, gymnast, and boxer. He also thoroughly researched and studied the human body and anatomy. The Pilates method was formulated from a range of exercise practice across the world: yoga, meditation, martial arts, ancient Roman and Greek regiments, and gymnastics. When Pilates was put in internment camps during World War I, he began developing his original Pilates method.
What started as the original Mat work series soon became early apparatus work— inventive with bed springs and other props, Pilates continued the development of his exercises that we can identify today on the Reformer, Cadillac, and other apparatus. He even helped heal injured and unwell people in the internment camps through practice of his early method. Pilates later relocated to New York City after the war and opened the first Pilates studio alongside his wife Clara. The rest, as they say, is history.
The Pilates method was originally called “Contrology,” which is the practice of control in the mind and body. Joseph Pilates believed that in order to lead the healthiest life, we must develop a balance of the mind, body, and spirit. Only then we one lead a life in which we are the best version of ourselves.
Practiced regularly, the Pilates method improves health and vitality through improved body mechanics, posture, proper breathing, and spinal mobility. What’s more, the method is highly adaptable to people of any age or body type, so it is an accessible and safe exercise method for almost anyone.
Pilates brings many benefits to those who practice—reduced stress, improved circulation and respiratory function, enhanced immune system, sculpted physique, better focus, and greater strength and coordination (to name a few). It is a full-body method of exercise that works to restore balance, control, and strength to all parts of the body and the mind. By training the mind and body to work efficiently together, you can progress quickly and learn to carry over concepts learned inside the studio into everyday life.
The method is widely practiced across the world today as people discover the amazing benefits. While it is hard to adequately define Pilates or convey its full advantages, the best way to understand is to experience it for yourself.
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