Jospeh Pilates (pictured teaching) was born in Germany in 1883. As a child, he suffered from a wide array of health issues, including rickets, asthma and rheumatic fever. By engaging in physical activities such as bodybuilding and gymnastics, along with an innate understanding of the body, he was able to overcome his illnesses.
This success of his own experience eventually led him to create his unique movement methodology, originally known as Contrology. What he created was a movement form built around the principles of training one's whole body, mind, and breath connection to achieve a high quality of health.
Later in his life, as a German national living abroad, he was interned in England when WWI broke out. It was in these camps that he taught his method to fellow internees and is first recorded to have started utilizing the concepts that he would eventually employ to create many of the Pilates Apparatus that we will work with in the studio.
Eventually his journey brought him to America where he set-up a studio in New York City with his partner, Clara. Because he didn't leave a large written record of his teaching methods, his core group of students have been largely responsible for carrying on Joseph's work and passing it onto the next generation of instructors. The practice would eventually switch from being called Contrology to Pilates.
To him, his method was much more than a set of various exercises - It was a way of life.