Joseph Pilates was born in Germany around 1880, he was a sickly child & suffered a number of illnesses including asthma, rheumatic fever & rickets. Although given a poor life expectancy Joseph set about improving his health & physical fitness. He used martial arts, gymnastics, skiing, yoga, dance, weight training & even circus training. He took the most effective elements of each & developed his own method which he called Contrology. He travelled to New York in 1926 & set up a studio, his first clients were boxers but soon the New York City Ballet dancers heard of his method & sought his help when they were injured. Joseph designed his own equipment to help facilitate his mat based method. He died at age 84 & his method was continued by those he had trained. It was only after his death that his method of Contrology became known as Pilates.
Body Control Pilates was founded in 1995 with a view to making Pilates accessible to everyone. It had previously been studio based & the domain of dancers & sports people. The original method consisted of a set of exercises performed in sequence, they require a high degree of flexibility and strength. The Body Control Pilates method set about making a way to move students safely & progressively towards his original work in a modern way while taking into account new research.
It is vital to begin with the basics of the method. The eight key principles of Body Control Pilates are, concentration, relaxation, alignment, breathing, centring, coordination, flowing movements and stamina.