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"Move to the music of your own body, to the rhythm of your own breathing." (Joseph Pilates)


What is Pilates?

Pilates is generally thought of as a new movement discipline. It is often heard of by word of mouth as a safe form of exercise, as suitable for any level, of great benefit for back suffers, pregnancy, and based around a core stability concept and a great way to tone up, to name but a few. But where did it come from?

Joseph Pilates was born in Germany in 1880. Having suffered as a child from asthma, rickets and rheumatic fever he dedicated his life to advancing his physical strength and fitness. He studied yoga, boxing, self defence, gymnastics and body building techniques. He worked as a diver, circus–performer and self-defense instructor to Scotland Yard. During World War One Joseph was interned and worked in a hospital on the Isle of Man helping injured German captives. It was his work with bed ridden and less able-bodied men that formed the basis of his work, which he called ‘Contrology’.

Pilates studio at marylebone 

Joseph’s belief that poor posture, breathing and a sedentary lifestyle were to blame for poor health led him to develop a fitness and exercise regime back in Germany. On the eve of the Second World War he emigrated to New York, USA and founded his first studio. Supported by his wife Clara, a trained nurse, he focused on bringing stability to the body’s core by using mindful movement that had a strong emphasis on correct breathing techniques. With a strong following of dancers Joseph worked on helping them to maintain the ability to perform even when injured and to come through stronger, more flexible and more in control of their bodies he established a lifetimes work within dance. He died in 1967 at the age of 87.

Modern Pilates

Having been taken from the dance community by medical professionals it has emerged within physiotherapy, sports training facilities and in more recent history in general fitness circles. With influence from physiotherapists, dancers, doctors, movement therapists and scientists Pilates continues to change and advance.

Pilates v Clinical Pilates

Pilates’ origins have always been for the purpose of rehabilitation. Rehabilitation for those less able bodied, those with injuries, illnesses and conditions and those pre and post surgery. However Joseph Pilates felt that there wasn’t a body on the planet that would not benefit from his work and teachings.

All the principals within Pilates are the foundation for life. A controlled balanced body that was strong, flexible and mobile, that could move fluidly with grace and rhythm, a body that could sustain and concentrate for daily tasks and creativity... a body that could breathe.

cadillac pilates katia

The foundations for Clinical Pilates and Pilates (for fitness, health and wellbeing) are exactly the same. The principals for both patients and clients are the same and within both there are weaknesses which will be addressed. Within clinical settings therapists must take into account pathologies and problems that create contraindications or restrictions or boundaries to generate a positive change and ease pain. Every patient is difference and each condition is different. There may be multiple conditions to address and conditions may change and develop over time. Pathology can lead to dysfunction in movement. Management of the pathology is essential in the rehabilitation of patients and Pilates offers a valuable tool for addressing what has created the dysfunction.


What will happen at my session?

At the clinic we use both mat and equipment and with Clinical Pilates there is a greater emphasis on the use of the equipment which uses spring resistance. The equipment allows the therapist to both assist and challenge the individual. A focus on core stability forms the basis of programs, aiming to stabilize the shoulder girdle, abdominals and lower back as well the pelvic floor and diaphragm.

Can I do Pilates for fitness?

With the stress and strains of modern day life we believe that everyone can benefit from Pilates. Poor alignment, weak posture, reduced flexibility and mobility, inefficient breathing patterns and energy management are all effects of this life. Pilates programs are the foundation for balanced fitness.

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Pilates for Movers and Sports Individuals

Few sporting disciplines offer true balance, bilateral control, strength, movement and holistic proprioception. By creating equilibrium the body is fundamentally stronger, more mobile, more flexible, energetically more efficient and ultimately in a far better place to prevent possible injury and pathology. This is particularly valuable for Elite Movers and Professional Sports People.

Pilates for Everyone

Regardless of if you are a client, an elite mover or sports person or a patient Pilates can be adapted for any level. Keen for a home program? No problem. Worried you are not up for a hard program? Programs are written for individual needs and abilities. Won’t be challenging enough? We challenge you to try it! And the best thing about it Pilates is not what it allows you to achieve with us, it’s what it allows you to achieve in life – during work, rest and play. 

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