The Pilates Approach
Created by Joseph Pilates in the early 1900’s, Pilates has grown and developed into the versatile and amazing activity that it is today. Born in Germany, Joseph Pilates was a frail child, suffering from asthma, rickets and rheumatic fever. However, he overcame these illnesses by exercising, becoming accomplished in many different sports. In fact, his new physique was so remarkable that by the age of fourteen he was asked to be a model for many anatomical drawings.
In 1912 he moved to England where he boxed and trained Scotland Yard detectives in self-defense. Just two years later at the outbreak of World War I he was placed under forced internment with other Germans at a camp in Lancaster, England. While he was there, Joseph trained his fellow internees and also worked with the camp’s bedridden patients. He designed equipment out of pulleys, bedsprings and straps so that the patients could exercise while lying in bed. It was from here that he created his Universal Reformer and Cadillac, reasoning that if the patients could strengthen their bodies before becoming well, they could speed up their rehabilitation time.
After the war ended, Joseph took his ideas to Germany and then New York City. His studio shared space with several New York dance organizations and it was here that Pilates was forever married to the dance community. His fame was spread throughout the dance and theatre society.
From these roots Pilates exercises have grown and developed. However, with all the different schools of thought, Joseph Pilates original ideas of connecting the mind and body through exercise are still practiced. True Pilates sessions should focus on improving strength and stamina, flexibility, co-ordination, posture and alignment, breathing and concentration. Combining concentration and exertion, Pilates creates an excellent exercise program for both men and women.
No matter what your fitness level, Pilates is an exceptional way to exercise your body, using spring tension and your own body weight to resistance against. You can use your sessions for rehabilitation or increasing your fitness level. By starting your Pilates session today you can look forward to toning and lengthening your muscles therefore losing inches and increasing flexibility. Every exercise you do will improve your core strength. Pilates is an all over body work out, kind on the joints and a perfect way to improve your balance.