What is Pilates?

Pilates is based on the work of Joseph Pilates, who created a series of exercises that build strength, improve flexibility, improve postural alignement and restore muscle balance. Pilates teaches mind-body connection as it requires the individual to concentrate on his or her own body to get the best effect when performing the exercises. When it comes to Pilates, it is the quality of the exercise rather than the quantity of repetitions that counts. Your instructor will encourage you to establishing effective breathing patterns whilst exercising as this will increase the benefits you get.

It all started with Joseph Pilates…

The Pilates exercises I teach are based on the work of Joseph Pilates (1880-1967). Joseph was a sickly child who became determined to overcome his own fragility. Rather than follow an established fitness regime he experimented with many different approaches including gymnastics, weight training, dance and even circus training! All these approaches influenced his work to develop an exercise system which had the perfect balance of strength and flexibility.


During the first world war Joseph was interned and so used his time to help out in the camp infirmary. There he developed his techniques whilst training his fellow internees. Much of his knowledge of rehabilitation came from this period.

In 1926 Joseph emigrated to the USA and with his future wife Clara, he set up a studio in New York. Here he trained boxers, dancers, actors, gymnasts an athletes who all realised they could get great benefit from training in Pilates. Joseph continued to work tirelessly until his death. Joseph left behind a huge legacy of work and his method was taken forward by many of his assistants.