Pilates is a unique system of movement that was developed by Joseph H. Pilates (read more about the man himself below). The Pilates Method is accessible to everyone and includes both mat and equipment repertoire. The mat work provides a strong foundation and focuses on stability of the joints while developing strength and flexibility of the muscles. The mat work leads on to equipment work such as the reformer, cadillac, chair and barrels. The equipment provides a challenge by creating an unstable or dynamic environment for the body. The mat and the equipment each accommodate fitness levels to work the client appropriately, whether they are dancers, athletes, older persons needing to move, pregnant women, or clients needing specific rehabilitation for back injuries, shoulders, knee replacements, post-surgery, etc.
While repertoire amongst each of the different schools of Pilates may vary, the Principles remain the same: Concentration, Control, Centering, Precision, Flowing Movement, and Breath. These six Prirefornciples intertwine and make Pilates the mindful movement that it is. The Pilates teachers at The Source come from diverse backgrounds, have exceptional training, and arguably make up the best possible team of instructors in South Africa! Check out the faculty page for more information on your teacher…
Joseph Hubertus Pilates was born in 1880 near Dusseldorf, Germany. Although he was a sickly child, he developed himself into a strong athlete. He was an accomplished skier, gymnast, boxer, and even posed for anatomy charts.
He was in England when WW1 broke out an he was placed in a prisoner of war camp. While he was interned, he developed his first series of mat exercises and trained his fellow inmates. He also started using the hospital bed springs to rehabilitate injured soldiers. These were the beginnings of the reformer repertoire. When the influenza epidemic broke out, it was remarkable that no one in his camp died. This was attributed to the strength training that Pilates was doing. After returning to Germany, he was approached to train the rising German regime. Reluctant to do so, Pilates boarded a ship to New York. It was on the ship that he met his wife-to-be, Clara. Once in New York, Joseph and Clara’s studio attracted a wide following of clients including athletes and dancers. He called his method of training ‘Contrology’. Joseph Pilates wrote several books during his lifetime including “Your Health” and “Return to Life through Contrology”. He died in 1967 several months after a fire in their building. Pilates left behind a legacy, a unique body of work, and dedicated followers who have continued his training and work.