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Pilates - Where It All Began!

Pilates was developed by Joseph Pilates early in the 20th century. Joseph was born in Germany and, as a child, participated in many different sports, including boxing, wrestling, gymnastics & diving. He suffered from ailments such as asthma, rickets & rheumatic fever and firmly believed that exercise was good for him.


He was working in England as a circus entertainer, boxer & self-defence trainer at Scotland Yard (what a great combination!) when world war 1 broke out. He was interned with other German nationals, where he worked as an orderly in a hospital on the Isle of Man.

Here, he began to develop his technique by teaching other internees. For those unable to get out of bed, he attached springs to the bed frame & the idea for the Pilates equipment was born. Joseph used this time to try & test his method, working with different body types, injuries & restrictions.


In 1926, he emigrated to America with his wife Clara & opened the first "Pilates" studio in New York City. Joseph & Clara called their methodology 'Contrology', which became known as Pilates after his death in 1967, at the age of 83.



Throughout his life, Joseph designed Pilates equipment (apparatus) that helped elevate his approach's rehabilitation side. Clara was the teacher who evolved and adapted exercises for the person in front of her & trained the apprentices.


Joseph & Clara didn't develop an extensive training program. On his death, Joseph left no will or line of succession. Instead, the method continued with the writings of Joseph's booklet 'Your Health' (1932) & 'Return to life through Contrology' (1945) & the original students of the NYC studio.


The method was handed down from teacher to student and, over the years, has evolved.

There are now several institutes that offer formal Pilates training. Some who follow the original teachings & those who also blend in modern & evidence-based principles. However, all Pilates training is steeped in the original concept created by Joseph.



Thanks to evidence that emerged in the 1990s that supported the principles of Pilates, it is now well-known in both rehab & fitness settings. Due to its effectiveness, it is a crucial component for many of the medical departments of top Football & Rugby clubs & has a celebrity following from The Kardashians, Andy Murray, and Cristiano Ronaldo.


Our instructors are trained with The Australian Physiotherapy & Pilates Institute or Polestar, two of the world leaders in Pilates education. Both were established by Physiotherapists & therefore have a robust and evidence-based focus on anatomy, physiology, specific pathologies & injury rehabilitation. All our instructors are degree-level therapists before training as Pilates instructors & bring a wealth of knowledge & expertise to each Pilates session.


Not tried the Pilates Reformer? Our Reformer Taster sessions are currently on offer at just £20 or add a mini MOT assessment.







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