Joseph H. Pilates (December 9, 1883 – October 9, 1967) the founder of the pilates exercise method, was born in Germany. As a child he was frail, living with asthma in addition to other childhood conditions. To build his body and grow stronger, he took up several different sports, eventually becoming an accomplished athlete.He later designed exercise methods and equipment for immobilized patients and war veterans. In addition to his eq uipment, Pilates developed a series of mat exercises that focus almost completely on the torso, or Core. He based these on various exercise methods from around the world, among them the mind-body formats of yoga and Chinese martial arts.
Pilates involves refined, purposeful movements requiring concentration and physical awareness. The form is elegant, graceful and balanced. The goal: proper body alignment; lengthened, well-toned muscles; flexible joints and increased physical strength, stamina and mental clarity.