Pilates is a method for bodily development through physical means, which was developed by German Joseph Hubertus Pilates, AKA ”Joe” in the early 20th century.
Joseph was born in Germany in 1880 and was often ill as a child. In an effort to help himself get well, he experimented with various ways of strengthening his body and mind. He was infatuated with both martial arts, gymnastics, yoga, and meditation, thereby inventing his own method of “healing”.
Joseph Pilates called his method Contrology, which means control, because he believed that the program uses the brain of the person exercising to control muscle mass, and because he could also control his mind and spirit with his program.
In the process of developing the Contrology concept, Joseph Pilates also designed his own training equipment, which includes things like Reformer, Cadillac, Wunda Chair, Spine Corrector, and Ladder Barrel, all equipment that is still made and used all over the world today.
Part of Joseph Pilates’ big dream was to realize his visions of “mind body fitness” for all ages in society – from children to adults.
Since Yoga and meditation were among the main sources of inspiration for Joseph Pilates, the similarities between Pilates and Yoga are readily noticeable – and no, there is really no significant difference between the two ”types”.