The exercise system we today refer to as 'Pilates' originates in the work of Joseph Hubertus Pilates in his New York studio during the first half of the twentieth century. Read more about Joseph Pilates here.
The Pilates Method
The Pilates Method is a series of exercises which may be performed with or without resistance equipment, training the body to find its optimal posture whilst lengthening (stretching) and strengthening muscles.
Since Joseph Pilates originated his Method so many years ago, practitioners have expanded on his work in the light of developments in the fields of bio-mechanics, sports medicine and kinesiology. Although different training organisations may phrase the work in slightly different words, the principles of Pilates remain true to the philosophy and movement patterns designed by their founder, and may be summed up as follows:
- Breath - Alignment
- Relaxation - Coordination
- Centring - Flow
Beginning with full healthy breathing, the exercises produce a physique that is strong, relaxed, balanced, and flexible enough to perform whatever our daily activities require.
This whole-body approach makes it the perfect starting point for any sport, dance, or just to be comfortable in our lives, and is the reason why so many physiotherapists, osteopaths, chiropractors and other health professionals recommend Pilates.
"The Pilates Method of Body Conditioning develops the body uniformly, corrects posture, restores vitality, invigorates the mind and elevates the spirit"
- Joseph Pilates