The name Pilates is internationally reconised, but many people don't really know who the man is behind the name...
German born Joseph Pilates was a weak, sickly child, suffering from asthma. So from a really young age he started to study exercises to strengthen his health and improve his ailments, beginning to create a exercise system balancing mind, body and spirit, using influences of gymnastics (his dad was a gymnast) boxing, skiing and yoga.
As a young man Joseph went to England to work with Scotland Yard to work as a self defence instructor and during this time the First World War broke out, being a German national he was interned in a camp for 'Enemy aliens'.
This gave Joe an opportunity to train and practise his refined exercise regime on the other people confined to the camp and is where he started to work with hospital beds and springs practising what later would be known as the reformer.
A great story is that when a massive influenza broke out, killing many people, none of the recruits practicing the Pilates method were taken ill, he claimed this proved how effective it was!
After moving back to Germany on his release, Joseph decided to emigrate to America, meeting his wife Clara on his way there. They both decided to open a fitness studio in New York in the same building as the New York City ballet trained. Soon they became famous among the dancing world for getting the dancers over injuries, quickly and effectively. The popularity for the new method grew quickly, gaining a huge following including sportsmen and celebrities.
Joseph trained rigorously until his death aged 83, apparently his obituary in the New York Times said his body was as limber as a teenager.
How amazing that as such a poorly child he would go on to have a healthy, long life and also to have created such an iconic and proven method of body conditioning, his legacy really does live on!
Join me for a private Pilates Class to see for yourself the health benefits!