What is Pilates?


"Contrology (Pilates) is complete coordination of body, mind, and spirit. Contrology develops the body uniformly, corrects wrong postures, restores physical vitality, invigorates the mind, and elevates the spirit."

- Joseph H. Pilates, Return to Life Through Contrology




What is known today as Pilates is a movement program created by Joseph H. Pilates over 100 years ago. His method, which he named Contrology, was born out of a desire to overcome his own physical ailments and acquire health, and later to rehabilitate injured soldiers in World War I, and then educate the public at large after his arrival in the United States from Germany in 1926. He and his wife, Clara, taught from a small studio in New York City and collected a small but devoted following. Of those early students, a handful continued to spread the work of Contrology and created programs to train instructors in the Pilates Method (named so after Joseph's death in 1967). What started from a small walkup in New York has been a world-wide pheomenon and Pilates studios can be found all over the world in every major city. The truth of Joseph's Method has ensured its relevance and continued practice.



What Pilates IS


  • A physical practice with multitudes of exercises on mats or a variety of special spring loaded apparatus

  • A method to integrate body and mind together. This calms the mind, eases the tensions of the body, and creates integration and fluidity in movement.

  • A way to build strength, relaxation, coordination, balance and ease

  • Weight bearing exercise, when practiced on the spring loaded equipment. 

  • A method intended to improve your mind, strengthen your body, and elevate your spirit.



What Pilates Is NOT


  • Mindless - there is no checking out and watching TV while practicing Pilates.

  • Quantity over quality - many high intensity fitness routines use this model, but Pilates is different. Precision and quality are vitally important in Pilates. Work smarter, not harder.

  • Yoga - Yoga is a practice originating in Eastern meditation and religion, PIlates is a movmement practice that is secular and Western. The goal of mind and body integration is the same, the practices are different. 

  • Weightlifting - while Pilates does use spring loaded equipment, the purpose is equally feedback and support as it is resistance. The work of Pilates doesn't come from heavier weight, it comes from using your body correctly.



Benefits of Pilates


  • Increased coordination and body awareness

  • Increased breath capacity and control

  • Uniform strengthing of the entire body

  • Spinal stability and range of motion

  • Increased flexibility, ease, and full body range of motion

  • Correction of faulty alignment and movement patterns

  • Mental focus and increased energy