Joseph Pilates said that when only doing his main principles of exercise it should take no longer than 20minutes.  Imagine only 20
minutes a day and you will retain excellent physical health !



German born Joseph Pilates was living in England, working as a circus performer and boxer, when he was placed

in forced internment in England at the outbreak

of WWI. While in the internment camp, he began to develop the floor exercises that evolved into what we now know

as the Pilates mat work.

As time went by, Joseph Pilates began to work with rehabilitating detainees who were suffering from diseases and

injuries. It was invention born of necessity that

inspired him to utilize items that were available to him, like bed springs and beer keg rings, to create resistance

exercise equipment for his patients. These were the

unlikely beginnings of the equipment we use today, like the reformer and the magic circle.

Joseph Pilates' New York studio put him in close proximity to a number of dance studios, which led to his “discovery”

by the dance community. Many dancers and well-known persons of New York depended on Pilates method training

for the strength and grace it developed in the practitioner, as well as for its rehabilitative effects.  Until exercise

science caught up with the Pilates exercise principles in the 1980s, and the surge of interest in Pilates that we have

today got underway, it was chiefly dancers and elite athletes who kept Joseph Pilates' work alive.  Joseph Pilates

passed away in 1967. He had maintained a fit physique throughout his life, and many photos show that he was in

remarkable physical condition in his older years. He is also said to have had a flamboyant personality. He smoked

cigars, liked to party, and wore his exercise briefs wherever he wanted (even on the streets of New York). It is said

that he was an intimidating, though deeply committed, instructor. Clara Pilates continued to teach and run the

studio for another 10 years after Joseph Pilates death. Today, Joseph Pilates legacy is carried on by the Pilates Elders,

and by a large group of contemporary teachers.

The History of Pilates as a Living Legacy

Joseph Pilates called his work, contrology. He defined Contrology as “the comprehensive integration of body

mind and spirit.” This philosophy is beautifully

elucidated in his book, Return to Life Through Contrology.



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