Pilates is the result of one man’s fascination with, and dedication to, achieving the ideal balance of body, mind, and spirit within an individual. Since its inception in the early 1900s it has undergone much refinement and fine-tuning to become the structured and regimented exercise regime that is loved around the world today.
Joseph Hubertus Pilates
Born in Monchengladbach, Germany in 1883, Joseph Hubertus Pilates was plagued by ailments as a child; including asthma, rickets, and rheumatic fever, however these only served to motivate him to become stronger. Over the years he studied anatomy and trained in various disciplines, and grew fascinated with the classical Greek ideal of personal balanced in all aspects: body, mind, and soul. All these influences led to Joseph developing what he then called “Contrology.”
The Origins of Pilates Equipment
Interned in England during World War One, Joseph developed the early forebears of what would eventually become the now renowned Pilates equipment by attaching springs to hospital beds, to mobilise and rehabilitate injured soldiers.
Pilates in the US
In 1926 Joseph embarked on a voyage to America. On the journey he met Clara Zeuner, who would later become his wife and fellow Pilates enthusiast and instructor. They opened their first studio in New York, sharing space with the New York City Ballet. As their students became more adept at the method, and learnt its many intricacies, they also began to teach and opened studios of their own.
Body Arts and Science International (BASI®) is a Pilates education academy developed by Rael Isacowitz, an internationally renowned expert and practitioner of the Pilates method. The program builds on the classic works of Joseph and Clara Pilates by complementing this unique training method with contemporary scientific knowledge.