Pilates is one of the fastest growing fitness trends in the world. Why? It is a complete form of exercise which develops a balanced body while allowing for exercises to be modified in difficulty ranging from beginning to advanced. Intensity can be increased over time as the body conditions and adapts to the movements. People report that they become stronger, longer, leaner, and able to do everything with more grace and ease. Pilates can actually make you smarter by stimulating the mind as it stimulates the body. It’s a system that builds muscle tone, core strength, flexibility and awareness to promote efficient, graceful movement. In the process it improves spinal and pelvic alignment, breathing and endurance, affecting body, mind and spirit.

Bulging muscles hinder the attainment of flexibility Joseph Pilates at 57

“Bulging muscles hinder the attainment of flexibility”
Joseph Pilates (above at 57)

 

Originally named “Contrology,” the Pilates method was developed by Joseph Pilates in the early 1900s. He was the son of a naturopath and a prize-winning gymnast,  who became a boxer and circus performer. A student of both Eastern and Western forms of exercise including yoga,  he eventually  designed his own apparatus and system of exercises which he later used to rehabilitate clients from injury and disease. In 1926, he opened a gym in New York City and soon became the “go to” person for the injured dancers of George Balanchine and Martha Graham. He trained several apprentices in his method, who then trained others who went on to become the master trainers of today. Once a well kept secret of dancers, “Pilates” has become a household word because it is so effective.