About Pilates

What is Pilates?

Pilates is a system of strengthening and stretching exercises developed by Joseph Pilates in the first half of the 20th Century that seeks to treat the body as an integrated whole and not in isolation. The Pilates philosophy focuses on training the mind and body to work together to achieve the goal of overall fitness. Because of the nature of the exercise, Pilates is appropriate for almost every person, regardless of their age or physical limitations.


Who was Joseph Pilates?

Joseph Pilates was born in the late 1800s in Germany. As a sickly child he was concerned with fitness and dedicated to strengthening his own body. During World War I he lived in London and was sent to an internment camp with his fellow Germans. While interned he worked in an infirmary and began to devise a system of springs and pulleys that attached to the hospital bed to help rehabilitate patients. Later in his life he and his wife, Clara moved to New York City and opened their studio. He was discovered by the dance community of the time and became friends with some of the great names in dance, including George Balanchine, Martha Graham and Ted Shawn.

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