Here is a photo of Joseph Pilates and his wife Clara at home. Joe is is sitting in his "Wonda Chair" designed to be an actual reclining chair for the living room.
Mr. Pilates has converted his living room chair into the "Wonda Chair" and is performing the seated Leg Pumps exercise for his wife, Clara. The Wonda Chair is one of Joseph Pilates most amazing inventions and is still used today for Pilates conditioning and sport specific training. Pilates Power Center has 6 different chairs for group and private training!
"This is the amazing Joe Pilates performing his "Butterfly" exercise on the wall springs. His wall springs were the precurser to the "Pilates Springboard" updated by Balanced Body equipment. We have 5 Springboards for use in our class room. The modern Springboard is great for abdominal training as well as stretching and strengthening the legs and toning the upper body."
The Pilates method of body conditioning is a unique system of strengthening and stretching exercises developed by a brilliant gentleman named Joseph Hubertus Pilates. These exercises are performed on the equipment Pilates invented, some more than a century ago!
Joseph Pilates was born near Dusseldorf, Germany of Greek decent in the year 1880. His father was a prize winning gymnast and his mother was a naturopath—which likely influenced his life’s path of pursuing fitness and well-being. He was a sickly child, suffering from a multitude of illnesses resulting in muscular weakness. Determined to overcome his frailties, he devoted his life to becoming physically and mentally stronger. He studied yoga, martial arts, Zen meditation, and Greek and Roman exercises. Pilates called his method of movement “Contrology” or muscle control, to highlight his unique approach of using the mind to master the body. He was so successful in his practice of mental and physical fitness he became a model for anatomy charts by the age of sixteen.
Pilates traveled to England in 1912 to pursue boxing. In 1914 World War 1 broke out and he was interned in Lancaster, England in a camp for enemy aliens. He taught his method to fellow internees and successfully maintained their health through the deadly influenza pandemic of 1918. Legend has it that not one single person in his charge fell ill to the disease! During the latter part of the war Pilates served as an orderly in a hospital on the Isle of Man, where he began working with non-ambulatory patients. Using the only equipment he had, he attached bed springs to hospital beds to assist the movement of the patients’ limbs. The staff noticed the patients in Pilates’ care improved more quickly than others not using his system. These spring based exercises became the basis for the apparatus Pilates would later design and build.
After the war, Pilates immigrated to the United States. On the boat trip over, he met his future wife, Clara, a nurse. Together they opened a fitness studio in New York. In the early 1930’s popular dance artists and choreographers such as George Balanchine, Martha Graham and Jerome Robbins embraced Pilates exercise method. Dancers, who often suffered from injuries resulting in a long recovery, used Pilates training skills to provide faster rehabilitation to their injuries. It was not long before the dance community at large adopted Pilates’ method of training. In recent years his method has been discovered by athletes, models and actors desiring strong, lithe bodies.
Pilates authored two books, entitled Return to Life, and Your Health. He is quoted as saying “With body mind, and spirit functioning perfectly as a coordinated whole, what else could reasonably be expected other than an active alert, disciplined person? Moreover, such a body freed from nervous tension and over-fatigue is the ideal shelter provided by nature for housing a well-balanced mind that is always fully capable of successfully meeting all the complex problems of modern living.”
Joseph Pilates died at the age of 87. His studio caught fire in 1966, and he tried desperately to save his precious equipment and many of his valuable blue prints and documents. Much of it burned in the fire and it is said that he died a year later of a broken heart.Fortunately, his work lives on through his timeless inventions and methodology of movement. Many of his original students, now known as the “Elders” or first generation Pilates teachers, still live and teach his method today. No longer known as Contrology, the name of his mind-body fitness regime, is now known simply as Pilates. The word in Greek means “multi-layered” - a fitting description to his system of training. Those practicing the method understand breath control is its foundation. Layered upon this is concentration, control, centering, precision, and flowing movement. Each principle builds upon the next, yet relies upon all the others, to provide a unique system of training embracing the mind and the body toward the goal of total fitness.
This is the website of Balanced Body® providing both premiere Pilates and fitness equipment as well as Pilates Education (formerly Balanced Body University). Balanced Body is located in Sacramento, California. You can order anything from an Ultra-Fit Circle or foam roller to a full Studio Reformer.
The Balanced Body® Company also provides Pilates education for every stage of your career. This site will give you program details and upcoming trainings. Balanced Body Education offers a full range of Pilates teacher-training programs including Mat, Reformer and Comprehensive Pilates modules. All programs follow the PMA guidelines to prepare you for the PMA® certification exam. Balanced Body Education has the resources you need to succeed. Paula Anderson is a Faculty member of Balanced Body® Education and Pilates Power Center is a host sight offering all of the Balanced Body® modules. Trainings at the studio are ongoing throughout the year.
The Pilates Method Alliance (PMA) is a national not-for-profit organization of teachers, teacher trainers and studios dedicated to preserving and enhancing the legacy of Joseph and Clara Pilates by establishing guidelines, encouraging unity, and promoting professionalism. Pilates Power Center is a member of the Pilates Method Alliance.
Sherri Betz, PT runs the Therapilates studio in Santa Cruz California. This is your resource for Pilates DVDs for low back care, osteoporosis, and pregnancy. You can also find continuing education for Pilates instructors, including Pilates for Osteoporosis and Comprehensive Repertoire Review.
Your website to purchase all the SmartSpine products. The SmartSpine is a unique body and back care system designed to aid in all the therapeutic approaches to wellness. Used separately or together these products will enhance any program designed for Pilates, physical therapy, body work or personal back care.
The CoreAlign is designed to improve posture, balance and functional movement patterns for everyday life. View the CoreAlign in action from its creator, Jonathan Hoffman, PT. and learn more about this fabulous and functional fitness machine!