Joseph H Pilates created Pilates and developed his concepts into a full integrated system over the course of his life (1880-1967). Born in Germany, he was a fragile child and this encouraged him to turn to physical fitness to develop a stronger physic and healthier body. He was a keen gymnast, diver and boxer. By studying many different disciplines, he took what he considered the most beneficial extracts from them and devised his own fitness regime.

At the outbreak of WW1, Pilates was living in England, and was interned. He spent his time in the POW camp devising unique methods to conserve his own physical fitness as well as helping others with physical therapy.

During the early 1920's, Pilates along with his wife Clara moved to New York, where they opened their own studio. Dancers and actors were drawn in by their unique approach. They found that their classes enhanced their performance by balancing strength and mobility, building strong and lean muscles and improving mental clarity by requiring that each client be focused on their body during each exercise. In order to achieve this mind-body connection, Pilates followed a set of Principles.

Breathing Centering Concentration Co-ordination Flow Precision

As research in body mechanics progresses, Pilates exercises have evolved over time to reflect this, but at the same time have never lost sight of the original principles. Today it's not just dancers who benefit, but everyone, no matter what age or what level of fitness.