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History of Pilates

Joseph Pilates was born in 1880 in Germany, a frail, asthmatic child with rickets and rheumatic fever. He was determined to overcome these problems and worked tirelessly on his body and eventually he became a competent gymnast, diver and skier.

When the First World War broke out Joe was living in England, working as a boxer and a circus acrobat. He was interned with fellow German nationals in Leicestershire and it was there that he began developing his fitness program. During the latter part of the war he worked as a hospital orderly in the Isle of Man. When confronted with injured patients he devised a way of getting them to walk again by taking bed springs and attaching them to the hospital beds and asking them to stretch with them, thus strengthening and supporting their legs. This apparatus along with others, although now further evolved, is still in use today.

Jo Pilates emigrated to New York, where, in 1926, he started up his ‘body-conditioning studio’ with his wife Clara. His classes soon attracted many prestigious dancers and actors of the day and the studio’s fame quickly spread. In 1932 he published a booklet Your Health followed by another called Return to Life through Contrology.

Jo Pilates died in 1967 at the age of 87 leaving behind his legacy to be carried on by his students. After his death ‘Contrology’ became known as the Pilates Method and Pilates continues to evolve to this day with over 12 million people practicing around the world..

“Physical fitness is the first requisite for happiness. In order to achieve happiness, it is imperative to gain mastery of your body. If at the age of 30 you are stiff and out of shape, you are old. If at 60 you are supple and strong then you are young.”
Joseph Pilates

Pilates Foundation Teachers

Pilates Foundation Teachers are renowned for their high standards of intensive and comprehensive study and training. Following this training they become Accredited Pilates Foundation Teachers – a qualification that is the true mark of excellence amongst Pilates professionals.

However, gaining accreditation is not the end of our teacher’s training as they are dedicated to continuing their education and in order to maintain their affiliation with the Pilates Foundation, teachers must take a number of Continuing Professional Development courses each year.

To qualify as a Pilates Foundation teacher all students spend a minimum of one year on Matwork training and study for a further year in order to pass the Apparatus exams. During this time they are trained in both the full classical Pilates repertoire and current biomechanical understanding. The final examination they undertake is an assessment of the student’s teaching both a private and a group class. This is accompanied by an extensive written theory examination comprising a case study and essay.

Each of our teachers abides by a strict code of ethics and conduct and we are committed to maintaining only the very highest standards of teaching.