The Pilates Method

Several principles of the Pilates Method underpin a collection of structured exercises tailored to meet the needs of the individual. The development of a ‘mind/body’ connection is achieved by concentrating on breathing, control and precise movements.

These principles include:

• Relaxation
• Concentration
• Alignment
• Breathing
• Centring
• Co-ordination
• Flowing movements
• Stamina

The exercises are performed with the emphasis on quality of movement which brings greater results than hours of exhausting, forced, repetitive exercises.

The Evolution of Pilates

For many years Pilates was the preserve of dancers, performers, singers, gymnasts and athletes. Now people from all walks of life have discovered the benefits of the Pilates Method.

Our lifestyles are different to those of fifty years ago. We are far more desk bound, we walk less and for many work and life are more stressful. These factors have influenced the way we teach Pilates. The classical exercises have been adapted and refined. Many have been broken down into stages, making them accessible to a far wider range of clients.

During his lifetime, the ‘father’ of the Method, Joseph Pilates, was constantly updating his program, adapting the exercises to his clients’ individual needs. Since his death in 1967 his approach has continued to evolve reflecting advances in science, medicine and related disciplines such as physiotherapy.

About Joseph Pilates

Joseph Pilates was born in Germany in 1880 and suffered ill health throughout his childhood. He combated his ill health with exercise. Just before the outbreak of World War I in 1914, he moved to England but soon found himself placed in internment because of his nationality. This was the catalyst for him to develop a successful fitness program for his fellow internees, many of who had suffered serious war injuries.

After the war, he moved to the United States where in 1923 he established his first studio in New York. The studio soon became a favourite for dancers and performers, each working with a regime geared to their particular needs.

As small bricks are used to build large buildings, so will the development of small muscles help develop large muscles

Joseph Pilates



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