“My method develops the body uniformly, corrects wrong posture, restores physical vitality, invigorates the mind and elevates the spirit” Joseph Pilates
Joseph Pilates suffered from numerous health problems as a child such as rickets, asthma and rheumatic fever. Having struggled for years he concluded that becoming physically fit was the solution to overcoming his health concerns. He started experimenting with different approaches to exercise looking at yoga, dance, self-defence, skiing, gymnastics and resistance training. He chose different elements from each discipline and combined them into Pilates, with the aim of creating a new exercise style that had an equal balance of strength and flexibility. Having proven the effectiveness of the method on this own body, he began teaching others and eventually emigrated to America and set up a studio in New York with his wife Clara.
Pain and problems tend to arise when the joints are misaligned and muscles aren’t at their correct length, over time your proprioception (your brain's idea of what is normal) will also become altered making these misalignments harder to spot in yourself. Pilates uses exercises that improve joint mobility, muscle recruitment patterns, core strength and alignment. As good posture is restored, natural movement patterns will return and after a number of sessions, you will notice that you start to move with better alignment during your daily life. This limits the risk of unnecessary wear and tear throughout the major joints in your body, as well as reducing your chances of developing arthritis or injury. This focus on posture, alignment, core control and joint ranges of motion is where Pilates differs from other types of exercise.