"I must be right. Never an aspirin. Never injured a day in my life. The whole country, the whole world, should be doing my exercises. They’d be happier.”
- Joseph Pilates
The original name of Pilates was Contrology: The Art of Control. Joseph Pilates developed the method in the 1900’ and refined it over the course of his lifetime. Some of the first people trained by Pilates were soldiers returning from war and dancers such as Martha Graham and George Balanchine. Pilates strengthened their bodies and healed their aches and pains. It was only after his death that the method of training became known as Pilates.
Today, there are a number of different versions of the method, but the traditional system of exercises utilises an entire system of studio equipment which includes the original equipment, such as the Pilates Reformer, Cadillac, Ladder Barrel, High Chair, Wunda Chair, high mat that still exist today.
Suffering from poor health as a child and young adult, Joseph Pilates believed that by moving with control, following a specific order of exercises and using your breath properly, one could restore balance and strength to the body and heal from chronic pain and instabilities.
The Pilates method has similarities with yoga but with a stronger focus on each movement coming from the core or abdominal region - the body’s powerhouse. In this way the entire body is worked in every exercise, which can take care of imbalances and injuries.
The method sees the body and mind as a whole and thus requires complete focus and precision in movement whilst using body weight and equipment springs for resistance to engage all muscle groups.
Everybody can benefit from Pilates in their own unique way, and the method can offer a myriad of invaluable benefits for your physical and mental health.