"I must be right. Never an aspirin. Never injured a day in my life. The whole country, the whole world, should be doing my exercises. They'd be happier." –Joseph Pilates, age 86
Joseph Pilates was born in Germany in 1880. In his youth, Pilates studied body-building and gymnastics and later became a professional boxer, circus performer and self-defense trainer. In 1925, Pilates emigrated to the United States and founded a fitness studio in New York City. It was there that he, along with his wife Clara, established the school of “Contrology” (later called ‘Pilates’ in homage to the man himself). He described his fitness method as the complete coordination of the body, mind and spirit. Pilates continued to develop this method of body conditioning throughout his lifetime and asked his longtime student and protégé, Romana Kryzanowska, to continue teaching his work after he died in 1967. Romana trained instructors and clients in the Pilates method throughout her lifetime, maintaining the integrity of the work in its original form.
“Not only is health a normal condition, but it is our duty not only to attain it but to maintain it.” –Joseph Pilates