An overview…



“A Pilates Body is part of a “coordinated trinity of body, mind, and spirit”

Joseph Pilates


Pilates is a series of exercises designed for physical and mental shaping…
This set is made to harmoniously develop the body: it lengthens and strengthens muscles, shape body, improves tone, stimulates blood circulation and relaxes … from the inside.
This progressive program is smooth and suitable for all exercises, develops strength and flexibility of each body part.
This is a series of controlled movements, performed with specific equipment that improves breathing, posture and coordination.
The Pilates principles are: centre, coordination, control, breathing, precision, fluidity of movement and body alignment.


Joseph PILATES is born on 1880 in Düsseldorf (Germany)


After a childhood in which he was frail and often sick, he studied and combined Eastern and Western physical training methods to develop an exercise program allowing it to surpass all its problems and to develop its musculature.


Worried about the risk of contracting tuberculosis, he is entirely dedicated to Fitness and strength training, so at the age of 14 he posed for anatomical charters. J. PILATES studied anatomy in Germany, while practicing gymnastics, skiing and diving, boxing, self-defence, and fencing.


In 1912 he went to England where he was successively police instructor, boxer and acrobat in circuses. When the First World War broke out, he was arrested and incarcerated in Lancaster during which he allowed many of his fellow countrymen, who followed his training to survive the various epidemics.


Transferred later to the Isle of Man, he became a nurse and allowed the prisoners (wounded or disabled veterans) to regain the strength and life, especially by attaching springs on their sick beds. He imagined exercises to prevent muscle loss in immobilized patients and the result was so surprising that these people were healthier than valid. By fixing these springs to bed, he developed the principle of resistance and the first equipment (Reformer) for the practice of Pilates was born.


Back in Germany, he continued to make his own equipment. Refusing to work for the German army in 1926, Joseph left his country for the USA and met his wife, Clara, during his trip. Arrived in New York, they opened their first studio that quickly became a big success, especially with dancers, acrobats and athletes and movie stars as its first customer was Blanchine.


Joseph began to codify the technical parts of his method in a book called “Contrology”, the first name he chose for his method. Then he invented new exercises and was also involved in the design of new equipment always based on the same principle: “intelligently designed movements, properly performed, with great precision and balance, are far more effective than hours monotonous workout consisting of stereotyped exercises.”