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Heart and Soul Ceremonies

Pilates

Pilates was designed by Joseph Pilates, a physical-culturist born in Germany in 1883. He developed a system of exercises during the first half of the 20th century which were intended to strengthen the human mind and body. Joseph Pilates believed that mental and physical health are inter-related.

He had been a sickly child and had practiced many of the physical training regimes which were available in Germany in his youth, and it was out of this context that he developed his own work, which has clear connections with the physical culture of the late C19 such as the use of specially invented apparatuses, and the claim that the exercises could cure illness. It is also related to the tradition of "corrective exercise" or "medical gymnastics" which is typified by Pehr Henrik Ling.

Joseph Pilates published two books in his lifetime which related to his training method: Your Health: A Corrective System of Exercising That Revolutionizes the Entire Field of Physical Education (1934) and Return to Life through Contrology (1945).

The method was originally confined to the few and normally practiced in a specialized studio, but with time this has changed and pilates can now be found in community centers, gyms and physiotherapy rooms as well as in hybrid practice such as yogilates and in newly developed forms such as the Menezes Method. The “traditional” form still survives and there are also a variety of “contemporary” schools, such as Stott Pilates, which have adapted the system in different ways.

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