“Pilates is complete coordination of body, mind and spirit.”

Joseph Pilates

By Susan Stweart

Pilates is a form of low-impact exercise

Joseph Pilates, a spirited individual who realized possibility arises from challenge thus he focused his life on cultivating physical fitness and health due to the poor state of health he experienced with asthma, rheumatic fever, and rickets as a child.  He understood firsthand the importance of effective breathing and good posture in living a healthy and happy life.

Through his winding path of physical activities such as gymnastics, boxing, martial arts, wrestling, circus performing, and self-defense training he also understood the importance of concentration and control in producing an effective motion with the desired result.

While interned during World War 1 he observed the contrast of the ailing fellow inmates and the spry movement of starving cats in the camp and understood the importance of daily limbering activities.  With this inspiration and his previous experience he began teaching exercises focusing on breathing, concentration, coordination, and control that he later credited to keeping all inmates in the camp healthy during the 1918 flu pandemic.

As we are amidst our own pandemic we can put these principles in action while practicing a few exercises from the Pilates Mat repertoire which have