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The History of Pilates - It All Began With One Sickly Child

A look into the history of Pilates helps you understand the tremendous power that this form of exercise has to help strengthen and transform your body. Unlike yoga, which has a tradition that goes back thousands of years, one individual developed the Pilates Method at the beginning of the twentieth century.

In 1880 in Dusseldorf, Germany, a sickly baby named Joseph Pilates was born. As a young child he watched as his friends ran, jumped and played games -activities that he could not do because of his frail, weak body. That is when the Pilates Method really began. Pilates was determined to find a way to improve his health and physical strength and stamina. He set off on a lifelong quest for fitness and exercise. Pilates not only overcame his physical frailties - he mastered them. He became an accomplished yogi, boxer, gymnast, and skier.

During World War I, Pilates was interned in England where he worked as a nurse with injured war victims. Pilates was convinced that exercise could help rehabilitate their badly damaged bodies. Many of these patients were not able to move, but that did nothing to deter Pilates' determination to help them gain strength and mobility. He rigged up their hospital beds with straps and springs and created a series of exercises to help move their joints through a greater range of motion. The exercises also helped his patients develop muscle strength, flexibility and endurance. Eventually, many of these people were able to get up and move around by themselves.

In 1923, Joseph Pilates and his wife moved to New York City where they opened up a studio and began working to rehabilitate injured dancers. Some of the most famous dancers that they worked with were George Balanchine and Martha Graham. Word of the dramatic results that came from using the Pilates method spread, and soon it became the exercise of choice for not only dancers, but also entertainment stars and professional athletes. For a long time, this unique form of exercise was limited to this elite community.

That has all changed. Now millions of people are familiar with the Pilates method of exercise. They have discovered for themselves that Pilates can help them gain the strength, flexibility, and balance of a professional dancer, without having to spend hours at the gym. They spend less time to achieve better results. No wonder it has become one of the hottest fitness trends to come along in years.

Now that you know the background of Pilates and why it was developed, you can realize how this powerful form of exercise can help you gain strength, flexibility, endurance, and the body of that you've always wanted.

Della Menechella is a yoga and fitness enthusiast who has been involved in fitness for over thirty years. Her website is filled with practical information about how you can make yoga and fitness a positive part of your life. Visit the site and get your free meditation e-book.


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