Pilates is one of the fast growing fitness exercises in America. The history of Pilates is mingled with the life history of its founder Joseph Pilates. It was not an overnight success. Joseph struggled hard to develop the exercise regimes.
The full name of Pilates is Joseph Hubertus Pilates. He was born In Germany in the year 1880. His father was a gymnast and mother was worked as a naturopath. He was grown as a ill health child. He was suffering from asthma, rickets and rheumatic fever. However he had a natural urge to become stronger. He started studying gymnastics at the age of 14. He ultimately derived some exercise techniques.
In the year 1912, Joseph Pilates moved to England. He started his living as a boxer. Then he became a physical trainer. He taught various people about fitness techniques. Here the beginning of Pilates took a shape.
During the First World War, Joseph started rehabilitating the injured people by teaching them Pilates exercise regimes. He had created certain methods to teach those who were bedridden. Though Pilates can be practiced on an exercise mat itself, Joseph started using some special equipment. Thus he planted the seeds for special Pilate’s equipments.
Joseph developed certain methods and innovative techniques after considering Yoga, Zen, ancient roman and Greek exercise techniques. AS his ancestors were originally from Greece, it was easy for him to learn Greek exercise techniques. He mingled all the techniques and he also introduced new techniques called Pilates to cure the injuries of the soldiers.
After the First World War, Joseph moved to New York with his wife. He started a studio for Pilate exercises. He taught only a few students. However they later became important founders of Pilates exercise Institute. As already stated, the success of Pilates had not been received in over night. Though Joseph taught the techniques to dancers and athletes in New York, it was not that much famous until 1990.
Some of his famous students were Mary Bower, Robert Fitzgerald, Ron Fletcher, Eve Gentry etc. Eve Gentry brought her dance training into Pilate exercises and thereby expanded the Pilate techniques. She was one of the founders of Institute of Pilate exercises system.
Joseph Pilates wrote several books on Pilate exercise techniques. His techniques were simple to understand and easy to follow. People found great relaxation while doing these exercises. Unlike conventional exercises, they never require stress. These exercises also improve the mind relaxation and power.
Joseph had taught his Pilate techniques to his disciples. His wife Clara also accompanied him in teaching the techniques. He continued to teach some variations in the exercise techniques. Joseph died in the year 1967 at the age of 87. But in fact Pilate’s techniques have been become very popular nowadays. With the resurgence of yoga and tai chi Pilates have also found a place in fitness techniques. These exercises have been practiced by Hollywood celebrities and sports personalities. They found that Pilates also provide good relaxation and muscle strength.