Pilates is a form of exercise, developed by Joseph Pilates, which emphasizes the balanced development of the body through core strength, flexibility, and awareness in order to support efficient, graceful movement.
It improves mental and physical well-being, increases circulation and helps to sculpt the body and strengthen the body's 'core' or 'powerhouse' (torso). The controlled movements are done as mat exercises with different equipment to tone your body. After regular training you will have a better posture, you will be less prone to injury, and experience better overall health.
Joseph H. Pilates, the founder of the pilates exercise method, was born in Germany in 1880. As a child he was frail, living with asthma and other childhood conditions. To build his body and grow stronger, he took up several different sports, eventually becoming an accomplished athlete. As a nurse in Great Britain during World War I, he designed exercise methods and equipment for immobilized patients and soldiers.
In addition to his equipment, Pilates developed a series of mat exercises that focus on the torso. He based these on various exercise methods from around the world, among them the mind-body formats of yoga and Chinese martial arts.
Joseph Pilates believed that our physical and mental health are intertwined. He designed his exercise program around principles that support this philosophy, including concentration, precision, control, breathing and flowing movements.
The great thing about Pilates is that just about everyone – from couch potatoes to fitness buffs – can do it. Let's get started!