Contact Pilates Home About me Training, courses Timetable Therapeutic exercises  Spinal exercises Work-out at work Fitness Total Body Fitness Personal training Media, video DVDs, books Camp News The History of Pilates The Pilates method was named after its creator, Joseph Hubertus Pilates, who was born near Düsseldorf, Germany in 1883. He was a sickly child; he suffered from rickets, asthma and rheumatic fever. Probably because of that, he dedicated his life early on to sports and developing a healthy body: he tried gymnastics, body-building and yoga. As a result of his determination, he was asked to pose for anatomical drawings at the age of 14. In 1912 he moved to England, where he earned a living as a boxer, circus performer and self-defence trainer. At the outbreak of World War I, Pilates, among other German citizens, was interned to the Isle of Man. He started to develop his method working with his fellow citizens, who, thanks to the regular physical exercise, became fitter and thus survived the terrible flu pandemic which claimed thousands of lives. Pilates moved to the USA in 1926, and on the ship he met his future wife Clara, who helped him develop the method he called 'Contrology'. He opened his gym in the building of the New York City Ballet. The best dancers and dance instructors of the time attended his sessions to build a great figure, strength and incredible flexibility with the help of his method. In the next 40 'golden years' until his death, Pilates further improved his system, compiled hundreds of exercises - still in use and known today as 'basic' or 'true' Pilates -, and created several exercise machines.  His followers believe that the main goal of the Pilates method is to create a unity of the body and the soul by liberating the mind and helping the body move gracefully and in balance. Joseph Pilates defined his method in 6 principles. 1. Concentration. Conscious smooth body movements demand intense concentration on the exercises. 2. Control. It means mental and physical control of the muscles, coordination of the movements and breathing. (Pilates originally did not name his method after himself but called it 'Control.') 3. Centering. The method is based on the premise that every movement begins from what is called 'the powerhouse', i.e. the central area encompassing the abdomen, lower back, hips, and buttocks that surrounds most of the vital organs and forms a focal point of the body. 4. Breathing. A correct breathing technique is key to optimal movement. Each exercise requires a specific rhythm of inhalation and exhalation. 5. Flow of movement. Each exercise has its own rhythm and thus they create a whole in a 'flowing' movement. 6. Precision. Correct execution of the exercises is essential. Working with concentrated precision is more important than repetition.