ePilates Online Blog Listen to your body

Today is Joseph Pilates’ birthday!

It’s funny how someone I never met and never will meet, has had such a major influence on my life. I’ll be be eternally grateful to this man.

I still remember my first Pilates class, over 25 years ago.

I left feeling amazing… having worked out, yet felt calm and also invigorated at the same time.

I just wanted more and the rest is history!

I’m now clocking up over 2 decades of teaching and helping thousands of people to also feel amazing in their body.

So lets celebrate Joseph’s legacy and my mission to help as many people as possible do Pilates with a Free Pilates today!

Click the link or image below…

History of Joseph Hubertus Pilates…

Joseph Pilates founded the Pilates exercise method.

Born in Germany on December 9, 1883, his interest in physical fitness and body conditioning tarted at an early age. He was a sickly child, suffering from asthma, rickets, and rheumatic fever, which motivated him to explore various forms of exercise and body movement to improve his health.

He studied and practiced various fitness disciplines, including yoga, gymnastics, martial arts, and bodybuilding. He also drew inspiration from the ancient Greek ideal of a balanced mind and body.

In 1912, he moved to England and worked as a self-defense instructor for detectives at Scotland Yard. It was there, during World War I, he was interned, as an “enemy alien” along with other German nationals in a camp on the Isle of Man.

During his internment, Joseph developed a system of exercises that could be performed in confined spaces (the Pilates Mat exercises), also using bedsprings to create resistance for strength training (where Pilates equipment exercises such as the reformer & caddilac were born). He began working with fellow internees, helping them stay physically active and improve their health despite the limited resources. It was during this time that the foundation of the Pilates method was laid.

After the war, in 1926, Joseph immigrated to New York City, he opened a studio with his wife Clara, where he taught the method he had developed during his internment. The studio gained popularity, especially among dancers, actors, and athletes, who found Pilates’ exercises beneficial for improving strength, flexibility, and overall body awareness.

Joseph called his method “Contrology,” emphasizing the mind-body connection and the importance of controlled, precise movements. Over time, the Pilates method gained recognition and evolved, incorporating various principles such as concentration, centering, precision, breath control, and flowing movement.

He continued to teach and refine his method until he passed away on October 9, 1967, at the age of 83. His work was carried on by his dedicated students and colleagues, who continued to develop and popularize the Pilates method worldwide.

Joseph was all about harmony — mind and body working together like a well-choreographed dance. His unique mix of yoga, martial arts, and ancient exercise wisdom, which is known to promote strength, flexibility, and overall well-being, is now loved and practiced by so many.

Hope you enjoyed hearing about Joseph’s story and can’t wait to continue to share more about Pilates with you in the future! 

Can’t wait to see you soon, on the Mat!

Love Em x



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