More than 20 years ago in a tiny walk-up studio with creaky hardwood floors, several dancers and exercise enthusiasts would join several times each week for 'ballet exercise'. In actuality, the movements of Joseph Pilates (Pil-lah-tees) (1880-1967) were in practice. The benefits from his method provided physical and mental balance, eliminated stress, and helped to build in each individual a strong and streamlined musculature.
Joseph Pilates' exercise philosophy can benefit men and women of any age. It is especially beneficial to people who recognize the importance of providing a firm support system for the spine. The essence of Pilates places its focus on what is termed the body's 'powerhouse.' This is the abdominal area, the buttocks, hips (inner thighs) and low back (lumbar spine) - the center of the body.
Pilates works the deep muscles in the body creating a strong center.
His teachings, "The Art of Contrology" unites mind and body to create a direct connection to the muscles. Each precise movement requires mental concentration and physical control. The mind and body learn to work together as one harmonious unit. Muscles are stretched and lengthened while building strength through gentle, non-impact exercises that, as perfected, are designed to flow naturally in rhythm from one movement into the next.