History of Pilates

“In ten sessions you’ll feel the difference, in twenty you’ll see the difference, and in thirty you’ll have a new body”



Joseph H. Pilates was born in the 1800’s and as a child he suffered from asthma, rickets and rheumatic fever.  His family was told he had a short life expediency but Pilates was a very determined man.  He started to experiment with elements of yoga, martial arts, gymnastics, circus training and dance.

Pilates believed that sedentary lifestyle and incorrect breathing was the root of poor health.  He devised a series of exercises and technique, making all the equipment required to teach this method he called “Contrology”.

After the war, he met his wife Clara on the boat back to the U.S.  It was in New York that they founded a studio, teaching students the “contrology” method which encouraged the use of the mind to focus the attention on controlling core postural muscles that helped to balance and support the spine.  They also taught the awareness of breath and alignment of the spine.

Both Joseph and Clara received a cult following of dancers and athletes and they worked tirelessly devoting their time to helping people.  After his death in 1967 at the age of 83, Clara eventually passed on the studio to Romana Kryzanowska.

It was after his death and through his students that went on to teach that the exercise became known as “Pilates”.




%d bloggers like this: