Joseph Pilates 1822-1967. Pilates is a form of movement developed by Joseph Pilates into a full-fledged method. He was inspired by Eastern disciplines such as Yoga and Zen. Here comes the technique of breathing, mental relaxation and suppleness. He also used a number of Western disciplines such as diving, skiing, gymnastics and boxing for the technique of endurance and strength. At first he called the method "The Art of Contrology". Later it was given the current name "Pilates".
Joseph Pilates was a sick child in his youth. He suffered from rheumatic fevers and had asthma. He was inspired by his athletic father and a very health-oriented mother. He learned to swim, dive, ski. Through physical exertion he overcame his illnesses. His interest in rehabilitation began when his mother became paralyzed. By devising her own exercises, he helped her to strengthen her strength that kept her muscles strong.
During the First World War he worked in a field hospital in England. He noticed that bedridden patients became limper and limper. He developed an exercise program for these men. He devised a way of attaching springs to a hospital bed so that it became possible for them to do the exercises in bed. This resulted in the later Pilates equipment, such as the Reformer and the Cadillac.
After the war he returned to Germany, where he further developed his work. In 1925 Joseph was invited to train the German army. Because he did not like the political climate, he emigrated to America. On the boat he met his later wife, Clara. She was a nanny and suffered from joint pains. During the trip, Joseph trained her.
In New York, he opened his first Pilates studio. Several dance studios were housed in the same building. Many dancers were sent to him with injuries and/or for extra lessons in flexibility and strength. He worked closely with famous choreographers and dancers (but he also trained plumbers). He died at the age of 87.
Joseph trained many people in his method, but trained each one in a different way. Because he worked with people in different ways, everyone has their own idea of Pilates. One trainer works more from breathing, the other trainer more from the idea of strength. Because of this you see multiple angles of the Pilates method.