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The Classical Pilates Method

Joseph H. Pilates created his training and conditioning method around the apparatus that he designed, often inspired by the needs of a particular client. Ultimately, he developed a system that addresses the needs of the entire body. Now referred to simply as Pilates, his teaching has spread around the world. Pilates mat work is being practiced (….) on 6 continents, but the core of his system – the "true Pilates" approach – is still centered on intensive use of the Apparatus.

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The Classical Pilates Method

Joseph H. Pilates created his training and conditioning method around the apparatus that he designed, often inspired by the needs of a particular client. Ultimately, he developed a system that addresses the needs of the entire body. Now referred to simply as Pilates, his teaching has spread around the world. Pilates mat work is being practiced (….) on 6 continents, but the core of his system – the "true Pilates" approach – is still centered on intensive use of the Apparatus. (…)

Reference:
"Romana on Pilates – the Legacy Edition" - DVD

Today people everywhere are becoming more aware of the important part that physical fitness plays in leading a happy and healthy life. And yet true fitness is becoming ever more difficult to attain. Our lifestyles have grown increasingly less active over the last century and thus the condition of our bodies has suffered greatly. We go to great lengths to correct this situation but these efforts are often met with little or no success. Indeed, sometimes we only succeed in damaging our bodies even more. Why is this so? Because we have lost the sense of natural balance and harmony in our lives.

According to Joseph H. Pilates, the problem is that people believe happiness can be attained "without that regular disciplined effort required to render our bodies fully mobile, strong and enduring, our bloodstreams pure and our mindstreams continuously refreshed".

The Pilates Method of Body Conditioning restores this natural balance. What's more, almost anyone can use the system with relative ease: the young, the elderly, the injured, professional athletes, dancers and other performing artists, and anyone else who desires better physical health but just can't seem to find the time to develop it. The Pilates Method gives you the body you want safely by leading you to a state of total, balanced fitness.

The exercises stimulate the circulatory system, oxygenating the blood, aiding lymphatic drainage and releasing endorphins which are responsible for the "feel-good" factor. The immune system is given a boost to provide greater resistance to disease and illness.

Joseph H. Pilates' method was the product of his lifelong observation of the human body and its natural functioning. He called his system "Contrology", which he defined as "the science and art of coordinated body-mind-spirit development through natural movements under strict control of the will.

"Contrology movements are designed to exercise to its full extension every single bundle in the 800 voluntary muscle-motors each of us has been given to alter ourselves. In fact, the very essence of the Contrology philosophy is that each brain cell is trained to cooperate with others."

The Method combines the best of Western and Eastern traditions, blending the mind and body and viewing them as a unity working in complete harmony with one another. The Eastern approach to exercise is a path to calmness, being centered and whole, with an emphasis on stretching and limberness. The Western approach emphasizes motion, muscle tone and strength. Joseph H. Pilates emphasized these two approaches in his Method.

Reference:
"The Pilates Method of Body Conditioning" by Sean P. Gallagher & Romana Kryzanowska

The Pilates Method of Body Conditioning is complete coordination of body, mind and spirit.

Joseph Pilates

As a heavy rainstorm freshens the water of a sluggish or stagnant stream and whips it into immediate action, so does the Pilates Methods purify the bloodstream.

Joseph Pilates

The Pilates Method of Body Conditioning is gaining the mastery of your mind over the complete control over your body.

Joseph Pilates

The Pilates Method of Body Conditioning develops the body uniformly,corrects posture, restores vitality, invigorates the mind and elevates the spirit.

Joseph Pilates

Above all, learn how to breathe correctly.

Joseph Pilates

Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness.

Joseph Pilates

If your spine is inflexibly stiff at 30, you are old; if it is completely flexible at 60, you are young.

Joseph Pilates

Background

Joseph Hubertus Pilates (1880-1967)

Joseph H. Pilates was born near Dusseldorf, Germany, in 1880. A sickly child who suffered from asthma, rickets, and rheumatic fever, he dedicated his entire life to becoming physically stronger. In his youth, Pilates studied and became proficient at body building, diving, skiing, and gymnastics. By the time he was 14, he was fit enough to pose for anatomical charts.

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Joseph Hubertus Pilates (1880-1967)

Joseph H. Pilates was born near Dusseldorf, Germany, in 1880. A sickly child who suffered from asthma, rickets, and rheumatic fever, he dedicated his entire life to becoming physically stronger. In his youth, Pilates studied and became proficient at body building, diving, skiing, and gymnastics. By the time he was 14, he was fit enough to pose for anatomical charts.

In 1912, Pilates moved to England where he earned a living initially as a boxer, circus performer, and a self-defense trainer of English detectives. After World War I broke out two years later, he was designated an "enemy alien" and interned with other Germans at a camp in Lancaster and later on the Isle of Man. Pilates became a nurse in the camp and trained other internees in physical fitness exercises he developed. He was widely credited when none of the inmates succumbed to an influenza epidemic that killed thousands of others in England in 1918.

After the war, Pilates continued his fitness training programs in Hamburg, Germany, where he honed his methods with the city's police force. In 1926, disenchanted with working with the German Army, Pilates emigrated to the United States. On the ship to America, Pilates met his future wife Clara. Upon arrival, the couple founded a studio in New York City. Joe and his wife personally supervised their clients at the studio well into the 1960's.

Pilates and his method, which he called "Contrology", soon established a following in the dance community. ...
Later on, athletes and other performing artists performing studied under his Method.

Pilates practiced what he preached and lived a long, healthy life. He died in 1967 at the age of 87. Today, his methods and exercises are used worldwide by dance companies, theater groups, students at performing arts schools and universities, professional sports teams, spa clients and fitness enthusiasts at health clubs and gyms. The exercises have become increasingly popular with the general public.

Reference:
"The Pilates Method of Body Conditioning" by Sean P. Gallagher & Romana Kryzanowska

Romana Kryzanowska (1923-2013)

Romana Kryzanowska met Joseph Pilates in 1941. She was just 17 years old and a dancer working with the legendary choreographer, George Balanchine. Pilates, who called his method "The Art of Contrology", immediately took Romana under his wing and the legacy was born.

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Romana Kryzanowska (1923-2013)

Romana Kryzanowska met Joseph Pilates in 1941. She was just 17 years old and a dancer working with the legendary choreographer, George Balanchine. Pilates, who called his method "The Art of Contrology", immediately took Romana under his wing and the legacy was born.

When Joseph Pilates died in 1967 at the Age of 87, it was Romana who kept his studio going and his dream alive. Today, the conditioning system he created is simply called Pilates, and its leading practitioner, known throughout the world as "The Teacher's Teacher", is simply called Romana.

Reference:
"Romana on Pilates – the Legacy Edition" - DVD

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