History of the Pilates Method
The Pilates method was created and perfected in the early 20th century by a German called Joseph Pilates as a mental and physical fitness method. Joseph Pilates was born in Germany in 1880. His childhood was marked by various illnesses (such as asthma, rickets and rheumatic fever) which stimulated him to create and elaborate a method to help overcome all these pathologies. His knowledge, experience and practice of martial arts, bodybuilding and especially yoga were very important in the development of his well-known method as he combined much of all these disciplines. Aside from yoga and martial arts, Joseph Pilates also incorporated some elements from Roman and Ancient Greek methods as well as dance in order to perfect his own technique.
When the First World War broke out, Joseph Pilates used an adapted old hospital bed as a support for his method, this is how the first accessory device was created for the Pilates Method. In 1926, Joseph Pilates and his wife settled in New York where they continued perfecting and carrying out their method. During his stay in New York, Pilates attracted ordinary people to spread his technique as a method of rehabilitation and body conditioning. On the other side, and in a very subtle way (almost secretly), Joseph Pilates introduced the method to ballets. The method was very well received by dancers and elite athletes; they both used the method to train and noticed great results. From there on many physical therapists and orthopedists also learned Joseph Pilates' method and it proved to be very useful as a recovery system. After Joseph Pilates' death, there were various followers and successors, first among them was his wife and later came Roman Kryzamowska and Ron Fletcher who opened a specific centre in Los Angeles for the practice of this method. But it's just since the beginning of the 21st century that the Pilates method has became widely known. Before then, the method had only been practiced by very small groups of athletes, dancers and film celebrities. Recent popularity of the Pilates method is due, among other things, to film celebrities and to the growing acceptance of practices that link mind and body, but especially to the results obtained as a method of rehabilitation and fitness based on postural reeducation.