Joseph Pilates called his work, “Contrology” and defined it as the “the comprehensive integration of body, mind and spirit – pretty avant garde for a young man in late 19th century Germany.
Now called “Pilates” (pronounced Pi-lah-teez), the contemporary definition is “stretching with strength and control.” However, those five simple words belie the depth, breadth and brilliance of the Pilates Method successful integration, alignment and balance of mind and body – pretty mainstream concepts in our 21st global community. Joe himself believed “Truth will prevail and that is why I know that my teachings will reach the masses and finally be adopted as universal.” Turned out he was exactly right.
Much of Pilates is practiced while lying down, (everyone loves this part!) in a non-weight bearing position. We move to a seated position, and end vertically, with each exercise building on the next and all designed to engage the “core” or “powerhouse”.
While the mat work is the center of Joe’s conditioning system, he believed it to be too difficult for many students; and developed numerous pieces of apparatus – Reformer, Guillotine Tower and Cadillac, for all-over body conditioning, and barrels, ped-a-pull, foot corrector and others for more specific needs. The supportive resistance provided by the apparatus springs allows the student to find and feel the initiation of the powerhouse. And as the you become stronger, we don’t add reps or resistance – we add exercises! So the work you learn from the first day is the foundation of your Pilates practice always.
As Joe said “A few well-designed movements, properly performed in a balanced sequence, are worth hours of doing sloppy calisthenics or forced contortion." Best part? It's just plain FUN - sometimes we just practice Laughalates!