Joseph Hubertus Pilates

1883-1967

Creator of Pilates 

Joseph Hubertus Pilates, born in Germany, was far ahead of his time and devised his own method of exercise, known at the time as 'Contrology'. Pilates dedicated his whole life to his physical strength and health, following on from his childhood where he suffered with asthma, rickets and rheumatic fever. After working at improving his health and fitness, Pilates posed for anatomical charts. It seems as though Joe could turn his hand to anything, including gymnastics, body building, boxing and skiing. During the first World War, Joe was interned for his German citizenship. It is believed, that he shared his method with his fellow internees and helped injured veterans regain strength using his method of Contrology.

Joseph Pilates emigrated to America, taking his newly developed method with him. He opened his first pilates studio in New York City in 1926 with his wife Clara. Here they taught a range of people, including dancers and athletes looking to recover from injuries. Many people who were taught by Joe, later went on to open their own studios and share the method. After Joe's death, the method carried on in his name and has now become a well known method of exercise. Romana Kryzanowska took on the responsibility of running his studio, and was one of many keeping the method alive by educating and training people to teach pilates.

What is Pilates?

"Contrology is designed to give you suppleness, natural grace, and skill that will be unmistakably reflected in the way you walk, in the way you play, and in the way you work."
~ Joseph Pilates (Return to Life Through Contrology)

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Pilates is an exercise method, created by Joseph Pilates. It is a method designed to develop a balance between mind and body. It strengthens, lengthens and mobilises the body in no better way. After doing pilates you develop body awareness and find the feeling of muscles you never knew you had or struggled to connect with.

"NOT MIND OR BODY BUT MIND AND BODY." ~ Joseph Pilates (Your Health) 

'Who is it for? - EVERYONE​

“The whole country, the whole world, should be doing my exercises. They’d be happier.”

"The nearer one's physique approached the state of physical perfection, the nearer one's mind approached the state of mental perfection"

"A sound mind "housed" in an unsound body (50% balance)"

"A sound body "housing" an unsound mind (50% balanced)"

"A sound mind "housed" in a sound body (100% balanced)"

~ Joseph Pilates (Return to Life Through Contrology)

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Pilates is for Men

"PERFECT Balance of Body and Mind, is that quality in civilised man, which not only gives him superiority over the savage and animal kingdom, but furnishes him with all the physical and mental powers that are indispensable for attaining the goal of Mankind - HEALTH and HAPPINESS."
~ Joseph Pilates (Your Health)

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Pilates is for Women

"The whole country, the whole world, should be doing my exercises. They'd be happier."

~ Joseph Pilates (Return to Life Through Contrology)

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Pilates is for Sport

"You will develop muscular power with corresponding endurance, ability to perform arduous duties, to play strenuous games, walk, run or travel for long distances without undue body fatigue or mental strain."
~ Joseph Pilates (Return to Life Through Contrology)

Pilates is for everyone, it isn't just designed to improve you physically, it is equally designed to improve you mentally. It is designed to reform your body into a longer, leaner and stronger body with low impact exercises. The beauty of pilates apparatus is that, if an exercise isn't suited to your body on one piece of apparatus, you can perform it elsewhere in the studio. You may find you're not ready for some exercises but you can work towards it using other exercises. You will also find pilates helps with every day life, you'll be walking taller and stronger.

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Pilates is for Injury

"Contrology develops the body uniformly, corrects wrong postures, restores physical vitality, invigorates the mind, and elevates the spirit."
​~ Joseph Pilates (Return to Life Through Contrology)

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Pilates is for Good Posture

"Contrology develops the body uniformly, corrects wrong postures, restores physical vitality, invigorates the mind, and elevates the spirit."
​~ Joseph Pilates (Return to Life Through Contrology)

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Pilates is for Weight-loss &
​Under-Developed Muscles

"If any particular part of your body is under-developed or shows an accumulation of excess fat, select Contrology exercises specifically to correct."
​~ Joseph Pilates (Return to Life Through Contrology)

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The 6 Principles

  • Centring

  • Concentration

  • Control

  • Precision

  • Breath

  • Flow

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The Benefits

  • Builds strength

  • Corrects posture and imbalances

  • Improves flexibility

  • Prevents back pain

  • Lengthens and strengthens the body

  • Creates body awareness

  • ​Stress relief