Pilates is a specific full-body conditioning method that promotes strength and flexibility while emphasizing preferred alignment, breathing and movement patterns that ultimately enhance overall health. Founded by Joseph and Clara Pilates in the 1940s, the Pilates Method is widely utilized in the fitness and healthcare fields as a safe and effective tool for improving the well-being of people of all shapes, sizes and conditions.
We offer a variety of group classes and individual sessions to meet everyone’s fitness and rehabilitative needs. To see a full list of our reformer and mat classes, click here.
**Prenatal Pilates Class on Thursdays at 11am
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The son of a gymnast father and mother who adhered to natrupathic methods of healing, Joseph H. Pilates was born in Germany on November 30, 1880. As a young child Joseph experienced asthma, rickets and rheumatic fever, but with his pursuits of health and physical conditioning he developed into a vital young man with interests in boxing, gymnastics, wrestling, body building, skiing, diving, yoga and martial arts. Joseph admired the Greek ideal of balancing the mind, body and spirit, and eastern philosophies of well-being, which eventually became the foundation from which the Pilates Method was born.
Joseph Pilates moved to England in 1912 and taught self-defense at police academies and toured as a boxer. When Britain entered World War I, he was imprisoned as a German national in an internment camp on the Isle of Man and eventually was used to convalesce the prisoners of the infirmary. During this time, Joseph developed his exercises and equipment that utilized bed springs for resistance. Joseph returned to Germany after the war.
Returning to Germany, Joseph continued to teach self-defense at police academies and was even offered a job training soldiers of the German army. In the 1920s Joseph opted to emigrate to the United States of America and en route met his future wife, Clara. Once in the US, Joseph and Clara established their 8th Avenue studio in New York City, where they developed and refined the practice of 'Contrology', which later became known world-wide as the Pilates Method.
Joseph once defined Contrology as “the comprehensive integration of body, mind and spirit.” Joseph and Clara practiced at their Manhattan studio from 1926 through 1976 and taught many men, women, celebrities, dancers and choreographers, among which were such notables as Martha Graham and George Balanchine. Dancers especially would go see “Uncle Joe” for strengthening, flexibility and rehabilitation from injury. Joseph died in 1967, but Clara continued to teach at their studio for an additional 10 years. The original students of Joseph and Clara Pilates are called Pilates Elders and have themselves continued the Pilates Method through instruction of second and third, and even fourth generations of Pilates disciples.
Pilates Elders that still teach today are Lolita San Miguel. Other notable elders who made invaluable contributions to the expansion of the Pilates Method are Romana Kryzanowska, Ron Fletcher, Eve Gentry, Kathy Grant, Carola Trier, Mary Bowen, Jay Grimes and Bruce King.
The Pilates Method of Body Conditioning develops the body uniformly, corrects posture, restores vitality, invigorates the mind and elevates the spirit. -Joseph Pilates
A body free from nervous tension and fatigue is the ideal shelter provided by nature for housing a well balanced mind, fully capable of successfully meeting all the complex problems of modern living. -Joseph Pilates
Patience and persistence are vital qualities in the ultimate successful accomplishment of any worthwhile endeavor. -Joseph Pilates
In 10 sessions you will feel the difference, in 20 you will see the difference, and in 30 you will have a whole new body. -Joseph Pilates
81 River Street - Suite 201
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