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Helen's Pilates & Yoga

The Pilates method is a unique system of stretching and strengthening exercises developed in the early 1900’s by Joseph H Pilates.  It strengthens and tones muscles, improves posture, provides flexibility and balance, unites body and mind and creates a more streamlined shape.

The Pilates philosophy focuses on training the mind and body to work together toward the goal of overall fitness. If your goal is to balance your body, improve circulation, reduce stress, improve endurance, look better and feel great then it should stand to reason that you should utilize the one method that for over eleven decades has proven its ability to achieve all these things.

Joseph H Pilates began developing his exercise system in Germany in the early 1900’s.  Plagued by asthma and rickets as a child, Pilates method sprang from his determination to strengthen his frail and sickly body.  He called his method “The Art of Contology” to highlight his unique approach of using the mind to master the muscles.  Interned during the First World War, he taught his method to fellow internees and successfully maintained their health through the deadly influenza epidemic of 1918.  During the latter part of the war Pilates served as a orderly in a hospital on the Isle of Man, where he attached springs to the hospital beds to support the patients ailing limbs while he worked with them and he and the doctors noticed that the patients were improving faster.

These spring based exercises became the basis for the apparatus Pilates would later design to be used in conjunction with the matwork which is why his name is often associated with antiquated looking machines.  The matwork is just as effective and with the use of balls, rings etc.. the same results as the cumbersome machines can be achieved.

Pilates set up his first official Pilates studio in New York City in 1926. It was originally the secret of dancers and performers but more recently it has been discovered by athletes, models and actors who say they owe their strong, lithe bodies to the Pilates method.