To achieve the highest accomplishments within the scopes of our capabilities in all walks of life, we must constantly strive to acquire strong, healthy bodies and develop our minds to the limit of our ability.Joseph Pilates; Return To Life Through Contrology
Pilates is a contemporary approach to the original work of J. H. Pilates, who opened in the early 20th century his own studio in New York. With his unique method to training, he has immediately attracted the best ballet dancers, gymnasts, actors and actresses of theatre and other sports. Practicing pilates is still related to the original approach, but is refined and upgraded. Changes and improvements are emerging from the modern discovery and knowledge of the human body and also with discovering novelties in physiology and functional anatomy.
Joseph Pilates was born in Germany in 1880. He was a small and sickly child, troubled by asthma, rickets and rheumatism. Consequently, he was very skinny, so he couldn’t resist some insults. These circumstances have led him to the path to good fitness and health preparedness.
During his growing up in Germany he has reached some success as a boxer and gymnast, furthermore, he was also a skilful skier and scuba diver. He moved to England where he worked as a circus performer and boxer. At the outbreak of World War I, he was placed in forced internment where he began to build his system of original exercises that later became known as Contrology.
When the WWI ended, he returned to Germany where he worked briefly for Hamburg Military Police in self-defense and physical training.
In 1925, he was asked to train the German army. Instead, he packed his bags and took a boat to New York where he met his future wife, Clara. He established his studio in NY and Clara worked with him as he evolved the Pilates method of exercise, invented the Pilates exercise equipment and trained students.
Joseph Pilates died in 1967. He had maintained a fit physique throughout his life, and many photos show that he was in remarkable physical condition in his older years. He is also said to have had a flamboyant personality and that he liked to party a lot. But in the first place, he was an intimidating, though deeply committed, instructor.
Pilates not only offers a bridge between mind and body, between every day life and optimal performance, between rehabilitation and healthy movement; it also offers a system that, when used to its full potential, can enhance every aspect of your life. It offers a solution to those with restricted mobility and to elite athletes. It is as beneficial for an 12-year- old as it is for an 80-year-old and as motivating for men and woman. It is for the person who wants to look and feel better. It is for someone who wants to function at an optimal level, pain-free. It is for people who seek balance in life, who want to change their lives for the better. Pilates, in other words, is for anyone and everyone.
Pilates is a holistic exercise that bears emphasis on less accessible, smaller and weaker muscles. These muscles contribute to good and healthy physical posture, help strengthen muscles and cardiovascular system, improve physical fitness and coordination and furthermore, contribute to greater self awareness. Training includes exercises for strength, stretching and breathing.
Basis throughout the training exercise is so-called “Powerhouse”, which covers the lower part of the trunk muscles: pelvic, abdominal and back. All exercises are performed slowly, smoothly and with respect to proper breathing. This method is beneficial for both the muscles as well as the knuckles.