nothing can stop either."
Joseph H. Pilates 1883-1967. Courtesy of The Pilates Center
Joseph Hubertus Pilates was born in 1883 in Germany. As a youth, he experienced health issues such as rickets and asthma. In efforts to surpass these issues, Pilates developed his body and became an athlete of diving, boxing, skiing and fencing.
Pilates was interned in England during World War I and worked with soldiers further developing his method of body conditioning. In addition to developing exercises, Pilates invented and patented apparatus to use with his method. Whether mat or apparatus exercises, Pilates' work is designed to uniformly develop the body. It is a full body workout focusing on strengthening and lengthening and deepening the "girdle of strength" - the core.
Joseph Pilates moved to the United States of America in the mid-1920s and opened a studio in New York City in which he taught his method of body conditioning along with his wife Clara. He referred to his method of body conditioning as Contrology. Joseph Pilates died in 1967. After the passing of Joseph Pilates, his studio was managed by his wife Clara. Later Romana Kryzanowska, protege of Joseph Pilates, maintained his studio.
Today the life's work of Joseph Pilates lives on through dedicated teachers of the original method.