|What is Pilates and how will it benefit me?
Pilates exercises are a system of exercises developed by Joseph Humbertus Pilates who was born in Germany in 1880. He was a sickly boy but studied yoga, meditation and ancient Greek and Roman exercise regimes, and by his teens he was excelling in skiing, diving and gymnastics.
He moved to England and when war broke out he was interned as a POW. He was trained as a ward orderly in the hospital where he devised a series of graduated exercises. Joe's patients started to get better more quickly than others who were on bed rest only. The doctors endorsed his work and he progressed his exercises using spring resistance made from old hospital beds!
His physical fitness regimes are said to have prevented he and his fellow prisoners from succumbing to the influenza which killed thousands of POW's.
After the war Joe returned briefly to Germany before emigrating to the USA. He and his wife opened "The Pilates Studio" in New York. They developed a large following in the ballet and dance world. A number of their students opened studios to teach the method.
Today the Pilates legacy continues to endure and benefit thousands of people around the world. The method is essentially a mind-body controlling techniques that emphasize the importance of beginning movement from a central core of stability – the lumbar-pelvic region. This is the origin of the term "core stability" which we hear a lot about today.
Joe Pilates believed that injuries were caused by imbalance in the body and habitual patterns of movement and that people often compensate for problems in one area by overworking another.