What is Pilates?

Pilates is a system of over 500 exercises created by Joseph Pilates in the 1920’s. The method draws upon the theory that an efficient and balanced body works from the core, or "powerhouse", out to the extremities. Joseph Pilates focused his method on the mind’s ability to control the body, which he refers to as "Contrology", and utilizes 6 principles: concentration, control, centering, precision, breath and flow to guide the work. Exercises are varied and balanced through the entire body with few repetitions, unlike other fitness regimes that use mindless repetition to build strength. The system uses a variety of equipment, as well as matwork, to challenge and strengthen the body, increasing bone density without the joint impact of other types of weight machines. Although the emphasis is on core strength, the result is a body that is strong, lean and aligned, less prone to injury, and more flexible. You feel better, look better and have more energy!

Who was Joseph Pilates?

Joseph Pilates was born in Germany in 1880 and was plagued by health issues as a young child. He became fascinated with health and fitness and, as a result, learned body building and gymnastics to strengthen his frail body. By the age of fourteen he was posing for anatomy charts and his fascination would soon develop into his lifelong passion. His foray into fitness would lead him to invent over 15 different pieces of equipment to support his exercise regime. He would draw upon Eastern and Western philosophies, yoga, his experiences with body building, gymnastics, police training and health care to develop his philosophies on the mind-body connection to proper exercise. He would revolutionize fitness and do it all 50 years ahead of his time. His genius was passed down to a few hand-picked disciples and to his wife Clara, who worked by his side in his New York studio until his death at the age of 87. Before his death, Joseph chose Romana Kryznowska as his predecessor to protect his work and continue his teachings in his New York studio. Penelope Barrow, Director of Pure, is pleased to have trained exclusively under Romana both as a student and director of one of her teacher training programs in Atlanta.

Who should do Pilates?

Quite simply, everyone! The brilliance of Pilates lies in the work’s ability to be challenging on all levels, male or female, from the athlete to the stay at home mom, for injury rehab or injury prevention, young or old. Because of the emphasis on core strength and alignment, Pilates creates a more efficient body. Its many results include, overall muscle tone and increased definition with no bulk, an increase of strength, flexibility and range of motion in the joints, decreased stress and increased mental concentration, less prone to injury, better posture and overall well-being. As Joseph Pilates has said, "the mind, when housed within a healthful body, possesses a glorious sense of power."