The fitness industry, known for being notoriously fickle, has embraced Pilates- even if it can barely pronounce its name. Most people think it is merely a form of exercise that can yield strong abs, but what they don’t know, is that there is a man at the core of these body changing exercises. Today, Pilates has over 10 million practitioners all over the world, As the New York Herald Tribune noted in 1964, “in dance classes around the United States, hundreds of young students limber up daily with an exercise they know as a pilates, without knowing that the word has a capital P, and a living, right-breathing namesake.” Those who have studied the method, know it is so much more. They know it is the work of an actual genius, Mr. Joseph Hubertus Pilates.
Pilates was born in Germany in 1880. A sickly child, he suffered from Asthma, Rickets, and Rheumatic Fever. At an early age he was fascinated by the ideal Greek man who balanced mind, body, and spirit. Pilates or “Contrology” as Joe actually called it, has its roots in his personal experience. Determined to heal himself from his ailments, he gained inspiration from Anatomy books and the movement of animals he watched in the woods. His passion to cure himself led him to study many types of movement including yoga, boxing, diving, and gymnastics.
In 1912 Joe lived in England and was a defense instructor for the Scotland Yard. When WWI broke out in 1914 , he was placed in an internment camp where he fine tuned his method and was able to successfully rehabilitate injured soldiers by removing the springs off their beds and using them to exercise their fragile bodies. This is was the origin of first piece of Pilates apparatus.
After the war, Pilates returned to Germany but was uncomfortable with its political and social conditions, it was then he made his decision to emigrate to America. In 1926,on his voyage across the sea, he met his future wife, Clara. Together they opened the first Pilates studio in a former boxing gym, right here in NYC, at 939 Eighth Ave. His gymnasium attracted the professional dancers (that had rehearsal in his building) actors, business men, and normal people alike that would willingly subject themselves to his authoritative prodding in hopes to be transformed by Uncle Joe.
At FORM Pilates we focus on learning Pilates as it was intended: one-on-one. While we know that Pilates is both and investment in time and money, we want you to have the most out of your sessions. This is why we offer an introductory special to all first time clients at our NYC studio. This customized approach allows our instructors to specialize a Pilates program just for you. Build your foundation solidly. Sessions are by appointment only so reserve the first of your 3 private sessions in our our New Client Special today!