Pilates is a physical fitness system developed in the early 20th century by the Greek German-born Joseph Pilates. It is especially practiced in the United States (where Pilates lived, developed and taught his method) and the United Kingdom (where he lived and taught early stages of his method). As of 2005, there were 11 million people practicing the discipline regularly and 14,000 instructors in the United States.
Pilates was enamored of the classical Greek ideal of a man who is balanced equally in body, mind, and spirit. His experiences taught him to believe that the modern lifestyle, bad posture, and inefficient breathing were the roots of poor health. His answer to these problems was to design a unique series of life-enhancing physical exercises that help to correct muscular imbalances and improve posture, coordination, balance, strength, and flexibility, as well as to increase breathing capacity and organ function.
The Pilates Method (sometimes simply Pilates) is a physical fitness system that was developed in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates. Pilates wrote at least two books about the Pilates method: Return to Life through Contrology and Your Health: A Corrective System of Exercising That Revolutionizes the Entire Field of Physical Education.Pilates called his method The Art of Contrology, which refers to the way the method encourages the use of the mind to control the muscles. It is an exercise program that focuses on the core postural muscles that help keep the body balanced and are essential to providing support for the spine. In particular, Pilates exercises teach awareness of neutral alignment of the spine and strengthening the deep postural muscles that support this alignment, which are important to help alleviate and prevent back pain.