German born Joseph Pilates, founder of the Pilates method was very frail as a child, suffering from asthma, rickets and rheumatic fever. His drive and determination to improve his own physical fitness led him to become a competent gymnast, diver and skier. By studying the named disciplines and more he developed an exercise method originally named ‘Contrology’ but more commonly know today as Pilates.
After moving to New York in the 1920s he established a studio where actors, dancers and athletes found that his exercises perfectly complemented their own disciplines and catered for their individual needs. The exercise method was first introduced to the UK in the 1970s and has been adopted by teachers worldwide. Universally acknowledged as a sound holistic system it is recommended by osteopaths as well as physiotherapists as a long term regime for re-building the body and restoring it to its former balance.
Joseph Pilates developed his exercise method around 6 fundamental principles that to this day Pilates teaching is still based around Centering — Concentration — Control — Precision — Breath — Flow.
The emphasis of the exercises are to strengthen the deeper stabilising muscles of the trunk, creating long, lean muscles, helping us stand up tall and support the spine. This support of the spine will in turn improve joint mobility and promote physical awareness, both of which are necessary for making postural improvements.