Pilates is a physical fitness system developed in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates. He called his method “Contrology” and presented it as the art of control. The Pilates Method places emphasis on: alignment, breath, core strength, coordination, balance, whole body movement, centering, and control. Pilates was inspired by the classical Greek ideal of a man, which is balanced equally in body, mind, and spirit.
Joseph incorporated his practice during World War I; he insisted that everyone in his unit participated in his daily exercises routine. The injured soldiers that could not get out of bed were using bedsprings connected to the head and footboard to exercise; these were the forerunners of the apparatuses used today. During the great flu pandemic of 1918, not a single solider contracted the flu under his care, more than 3 thousand soldiers. After the war, JP emigrated to the United States, meeting his wife and lifelong teaching partner Clara, on the boat to New York City. Together they opened the first Contrology Studio on Eight Avenue at 56thStreet in Manhattan, New York. He went on to write two books; Pilates: Return to Life through Contrology and Your Health. He taught his method over the years with many beloved followers, he continued to create new pieces of apparatuses throughout his life. Joseph died on October 9, 1967 in New York City at the age of 84. His students, now Masters, went on to open their own studio. Today Pilates is practice and loved worldwide.