What is Pilates?

Pilates is a series of exercises which unites body and mind. Pilates was found by German exercise expert, Joseph H. Pilates in early 20th century.

Joseph H. Pilates in his youth was a sickly child and started practicing various exercises including bodybuilding, gymnastics and boxing to improve his health and combat his illness. When World War One broke out he was in England teaching wrestling and self-defence tactics to soldiers, at the same time he also offered rehabilitating exercises to injured soldiers with his special machine which utilised various springs to facilitate the movement/exercises. These were the origin of today's Pilates exercises.

Pilates exercises work on deep postural muscles to help maintaining the balanced body and supporting the spine. There are six principles in Pilates and each of them is important to perform a successful Pilates session.

Six Pilates Principles:

  • Breathing
  • Centring
  • Concentration
  • Precision
  • Control
  • Flow

Benefits of Pilates:

  • Increases efficiency of movement
  • Improves posture
  • Strengthen postural muscles
  • Increases body awareness
  • Develops muscle strength and endurance
  • Improves balance and coordination
  • Improves body flexibility
  • Improves breathing capacity
  • Develops mind-body connection
  • Increases efficiency of movement
  • Increases self-confidence
  • Increases sense of well being
  • Relaxation

“In 10 sessions you will feel the difference, in 20 you will see the difference, and in 30 you’ll have a whole new body”

Joseph. H. Pilates

  • Franklin, E. 2012. Dynamic alignment through imagery. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
  • Isacowitz, R., and Clippinger, K. 2011. Pilates anatomy. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
  • Pilates, J., and Miller, W. 1945 (republished in 1998 by Presentation Dynamics Inc.) Return to life through contrology.
  • Siler, B. 2000. The pilates body. London: Michael Joseph