Joseph Pilates Bilder

The origin of Pilates

Pilates was developed at the beginning of the last century by Joseph Hubert Pilates (1883–1967). Born in Germany, he had struggled since childhood with various health problems. He began searching for a healing method and became convinced that movement was the key to better health.

Influences from east and west

In England and Germany Joseph Pilates learned yoga, zen meditation, tai chi, gymnastics, boxing and other sports. He came to the recognition that the mind was responsible for controlling and optimising the way the body functions. He then combined his knowledge of eastern and western movement approaches to create the Pilates Method, which he called “Contrology”. While he was interned in Britain as a German national on the outbreak of the first world war, he successfully trained fellow internees with this method.

First Pilates studio in New York

In 1926 Joseph Pilates immigrated to New York and opened his first Pilates studio. He continued to develop the method up until his death in 1967, helping countless people improve their health and well-being. Today, thanks to its great effectiveness, Pilates is taught all over the world.