Pilates is a uniquely precise, intelligent, and innovative approach to body-conditioning created and designed in the early 1900s. Originally named Contrology by its designer, Joseph Pilates, it was first used for physical rehabilitation. It takes its influences from a combination of bodybuilding, yoga, Zen, gymnastics, dance, and other forms of physical exercise. Today, it serves as physical training for people of all ages, levels, and walks of life. It is recommended by physiotherapists, osteopaths, chiropractors, and doctors as one of the safest forms of exercise available. It emphasizes breathing, strengthening, flexibility, coordination, core stability, muscular balance and alignment, and body awareness.
His childhood - Joseph Hubertus Pilates was born on December 9, 1883 in Mönchengladbach, Germany, near Düsseldorf. Originally from Greece, his family moved to Germany and changed their last name from Pilatu to Pilates (pronounced pi-LOTTS by his family). Having been a sickly child suffering from asthma, rickets, and rheumatic fever, he decided to dedicate his life to improving his health and physical strength. He studied body-building, yoga, qigong, and gymnastics. He was also an avid skier and diver.
His method - Joseph Pilates began to develop his method of exercise when he moved to England for work in his early 20s and became a trainer for the Scotland Yard police. He had added boxing and wrestling to his repertoire of modalities. He also studied the movement of animals in the wild. During World War I, several German citizens were placed in an internment camp at Lancaster Castle including Joseph. While there, he taught wrestling and self-defense. This is also where he developed his minimal equipment training that we know today as Mat Pilates. Proper posture and breathing became a part of his philosophy of good health. Later, he was transferred to another internment camp at the Isle of Man, where he trained his fellow inmates who were to remain bedridden. He attached bed springs to the hospital bedposts, and created what we know today as the Cadillac. After World War I, he returned to Germany and began collaborating with Rudolf Laban, a movement analyst and a dance expert. He also trained military police officers in Hamburg until he opted to leave Germany. He received pressure to train the New German Army, at the same time, his American-based family urged him to emigrate to the United States. So in 1925, he set sail for America, and while on board, he met Clara, a kindergarten teacher, who was to become his wife.
His studio - Joseph and Clara opened their studio in New York City in an old boxing gym three blocks from Central Park. Their studio was surrounded by dance studios and became frequented by dancers from the ballet and modern dance worlds. Dance greats such as George Ballanchine and Martha Graham, among many others, would send their dancers to the Pilates' studio for training and rehabilitation. Dance would become a large influence on the further development of the Pilates technique.
His legacy - Joseph Pilates held 26 patents for his equipment and wrote two books:
- Your Health: A Corrective System of Exercising That Revolutionizes the Entire Field of Physical Education
- Return to Life through Controlology
Pilates is a uniquely precise, intelligent, and innovative approach to body-conditioning designed by Joseph Pilates. It was originally designed for physical rehabilitation and takes its influences from a combination of bodybuilding, yoga, Zen, gymnastics, dance, and other forms of physical exercise. Today, it serves as physical training for people of all ages, levels, and walks of life. It is recommended by physiotherapists, osteopaths, chiropractors, and doctors as one of the safest forms of exercise available, and it will transform the way your body looks, feels, and performs. For decades, dancers, athletes, and celebrities have reaped the benefits of Pilates in that:
- It is most notable for core stabilization but also integrates flexibility, strength, balance, and overall toning.
- The deep postural muscles that support the spine are strengthened to improve the posture and relieve back pain.
- It develops a longer, leaner appearance as it builds strength without excess bulk.
- It teaches body awareness, economy of movement, precision, control, concentration, and coordination.
- It emphasizes correct alignment, which prevents further degradation of joints and joint pain.
- It increases energy and facilitates activities of daily living.
- It increases bone mass counteracting or guarding against the effects of osteoporosis or osteopenia (low bone mineral density).
- It relieves stress and tension.
There are many reasons why you should hire a trainer:
- to watch for proper body alignment
- to workout smarter and more efficiently
- to ensure correct execution of exercises for client's safety while on the equipment
- to keep your workouts fresh, challenging, and enjoyable
- to use the education of the trainers to assist in reaching your goals
- to help you in injury recovery and rehabilitation
- to address postural issues and muscular imbalances that may be causing injuries
- to help you start a fitness program safely
- to cross train with your sport
NTC stands for Naval Training Center and is located in Point Loma at the north end of San Diego Bay. From 1923 to 1997, the Naval Training Center was in use. During war time, NTC housed several thousand soldiers. During peace time, the barracks were converted into classrooms, one of which is the current location of Pilates by the Bay. When NTC was closed in 1997, military operations ceased at Liberty Station. In October of 2007, Pilates by the Bay opened at Truxtun Road under the leadership of Aulani, the owner and proprietor.
In order to provide the best, most appropriate training for each client, the trainers at Pilates by the Bay first must assess each client, taking note of their posture, their muscular imbalances, their movement. They also take into account the client's natural strengths, flexibility, balance, coordination, and agility, noting areas needing improvement. The trainer will use a variety of different pieces of equipment and training aids. The trainer will have to occassionally be physically touching the client, whether to guide or correct the movement, position, pacing, or spotting. This is all to insure that the client has proper form so that they do not incur injury during their session. Instruction will be given so that the client will understand what the correct posture, form, and breathing are in any given exercise.