So who was this guy? – Joseph Pilates
Pilates which was named after Joseph Pilates – and created initially for rehabilitation and physical therapy- for men, but later it primarily about developing a programme of exercises to promote the health of the human being whether female or male. ‘A man is as young as his spinal column’.
JP believed that his Pilates method of movement would prepare people for any type of activity they wished to accomplish. ‘To achieve the highest accomplishments within the scope of our capabilities in all walks of life, we must constantly strive to acquire strong healthy bodies, develop our minds to the limits of our ability.’ Joseph Pilates
Joseph Pilates was a gymnast, boxer, yogi, circus performer, diver, and skier. He battled Asthma, Rickets, and Rheumatic fever and was able to rehabilitate himself to health through what he termed ‘Contrology’ which formed the basis of the exercises now. He later – after being interned in a Prisoner of War Camp on the Isle of Man after the First World War and seeing the lack of health and morale within the residents of the camp – developed various pieces of equipment – based on the old hospital iron bed – which led to the development of the ‘Reformer’ and later the ‘Cadillac’ ‘ladder barrel’ and the ‘Chair’. He focused on the principles of precision in movement, control, coordination, concentration, centering, and smooth skeletal/muscular motion in order to align, strengthen and restore the body back to its natural balance.
After the War he moved to New York – hence the development of the Cadillac or the Caddie . He opened a studio next door to a Dance studio and a boxing club so that’s when his work with dancers and boxers began and the two disciplines were forged and integrated into his original work.
At Accomplish Pilates we bring in ideas from other exercise disciplines – Strength and Conditioning and Myofascia Release – Gyrotonics and Barre based exercises and the Psychology of movement. There is no limit to what you can develop given an enquiring mind and a bit of creativity – this is what Joseph Pilates did and unlike other studios we do not believe that there is only one way forward but that there are many, so our teachers continually research and train to make their teaching more exciting, more intelligent and ultimately fun.