Brief History of Pilates

  • Joseph Pilates was born in Germany in December 1880.
  • As a child he was afflicted by many ailments such as asthma, rheumatic fever, and rickets.
  • With his parents influence and his own physical work with body building and gymnastics Joseph Pilates most likely began his life long pursuit of developing his method.
  • After immigrating to England his system was developed to rehabilitate German Nationals like himself while interned in a camp for enemy aliens.
  • He manufactured his own rehabilitation equipment out of hospital beds, springs and equipment (look at the modern Cadillac) for bed ridden patients.
  • Transferred to The Isle of Man, he successfully rehabilitating many injured with what is now referred to as the Pilates Method.(Contrology) using early versions of the same Pilates equipment used at modern studios today.
  • By the 1930’s, now in NYC, he had developed a reputation for the rehabilitation of injured ballet and modern dancers– eventually becoming part of their intrinsic training