Pilar Joseph H. Pilates

Joseph Hubertus Pilates (1880-1967) was born in Germany. As a child he suffered from asthma and rheumatic fever which he overcame by frequent physical training. Growing up he dedicated himself to boxing, gymnastics, yoga and martial arts.

During the WWI Joseph was a prisoner of war in England where he devised a series of exercises. He started training with the other prisoners both on the mat and on the equipment that he designed from hospital beds, springs and sticks. Modern versions of the equipment are found in Pilates studios today. The exercises showed to not only improve the physical fitness of the prisoners but also their immune system. This became clear when the Spanish flue took a lot of lives in 1918 and the lives of most of Joseph's students were spared.

In 1926 Joseph migrated to the States where he opened his first studio in NY. Martha Graham and George Balanchine were among the first to work with Joseph before his Method became popular with people of all ages and all levels of fitness.

In 1945 Joseph published his book ‘Return to Life through Contrology' where he explains how physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness and therefore, we must constantly strive to acquire strong, healthy bodies and to fully develop our minds.

'PATIENCE and PERSISTENCE are vital qualities for any worthwhile endeavor' - J.H. Pilates