The Pilates Method was developed by Joseph Pilates, a physical-culturist born in Mönchengladbach, Germany, in 1883. He was a sickly child who was determined to improve his own health and eventually became a boxer and a gymnast. In so doing, Pilates developed a system of exercises during the first half of the 20th century which were intended to strengthen the human mind and body. He firmly believed that mental and physical health are interrelated. When Pilates arrived in New York City he was discovered by George Balanchine, the renowned choreographer and Artistic Director for New York City Ballet, who declared Pilates a genius. Balanchine then sent many of his injured dancers to Pilates to be healed. Many of the first generation students who studied with Joseph Pilates went on to open studios and teach the method and are collectively known as "The Elders". The most prominent include: Romana Kryzanowska, Kathy Grant, Jay Grimes, Ron Fletcher, Maja Wollman, Mary Bowen, Carola Treir, Bob Seed, Eve Gentry, Bruce King, and Lolita San Miguel.
The Pilates Method works the body as a whole, emphasizing body alignment and correct breathing. While coordinating the breath and the flow of movement, a body-mind connection is created that helps to create balance within the body. Pilates exercises the complete body, just as people do in daily activities. Better posture is achieved by building strength and flexibility throughout the body. The stability created by engaging the "powerhouse" allows movement to flow freely and with less strain. The focus is on form, not just execution, thereby creating new movement patterns as well as increasing strength and flexibility. This body-mind connection will enhance the movement of your daily life and create better posture. Learning to work the body in this balanced way will result in new strengths appearing as old habits and issues disappear. At The Pilates Center we tailor our sessions to each individual, modifying and challenging as appropriate to achieve the goal of a stronger, taller, more functional you.