History of Classical Pilates
"Contrology develops the body uniformly, corrects
wrong postures, restores physical vitality, invigorates
the mind & elevates the spirit. "
Joseph Pilates 1880-1967
Joseph Pilates was
a pioneer in exercise science long before it became
the familiar subject it is today. His book "Return
to Life through to Contrology" was first published
in 1945. Born in Germany in 1880 he suffered from
a variety of illnesses including asthma and rheumatic
fever but realised that exercise could make him stronger.
He studied various exercise regimes and devised his
mat based workout which he did daily; this forms
the basis of today's Classical Pilates Mat workout.
While he was interned in the UK during the World
War 1 he worked in a hospital and created exercise
machines from springs and pulleys attached to hospital
beds. Credit - Pilates Method Alliance
He understood that movement healed and he got bedridden patients
moving. This was a very radical approach at the time but
something we all now know to be best practice.
The 21 st century Reformer consists of normally a wooden or metal
frame with a unique combination of springs, pulleys, straps and
a sliding carriage.
Rather than using an isolated set of muscles to move an
external force such as a weight stack the Pilates student
is coached to use the "powerhouse" to lift and pull the
body's weight along with the Reformer's spring loaded carriage.
Classical Pilates is a movement system designed to challenge
the body to work within a full range of movement building
strength and endurance, stamina and flexibility. We maintain
the integrity and essence of Joseph's original teachings.
One of our teachers, Claire Dunphy B.S. Peak Pilates Master
Trainer and Owner of Progressive Bodyworks, Boston, was
taught by Romana Kryzanowska who was in turn taught by
For more information on the life and work
of Joseph Pilates please go to www.pilatesmethodalliance.org