What is Pilates?

Joseph Pilates (founder)

Pilates was founded in the early 1920s by a man called Joseph Pilates. Joseph was born in 1881 in Germany. As a child, he suffered greatly with asthma, rickets and rheumatic fever. His father was a renowned gymnast and his mother a naturopath. Their family doctor gave Joe a book of anatomical charts, which he studied in depth. Joe also spent hours studying animals moving. From this, he taught himself to move harmoniously and with intent, visualising exactly how the muscles should work. By the age of 14, he had trained his body so well that he was used for anatomical studies.

Joe went on to do and study all forms of training available at that stage and achieved great success in boxing, gymnastics, skiing and diving, to name but a few. He even worked in the circus.

During WWI he was interned at the Isle of Man and it is there that he started to put to test what he had been working on in theory. His 'pupils' were initially soldiers whom he taught self-defence and wrestling, but as the need for nurses arose with the victims of war, Joe worked more as a nurse rehabilitating the injured.

He took springs from the beds and attached it to the patients' beds, so that the injured could get strong. His breathing technique also helped them all to avoid the great flu epidemic that broke out.

Various circumstances led to him fleeing to America, where he and his wife Clara, a qualified nurse, started their first studio, called Contrology, in 1926. The studio is still in operation today. 

Joseph died at the fit and healthy age of 86 and there are photos of him at that age sporting a speedo and doing the 'Teaser' (Pilates exercise) in the snow.

All his experiences contributed to the unique and excellent form of training which we today call Pilates.

Joseph Pilates defined physical fitness as:

"The attainment and maintenance of a uniformly developed body with a sound mind fully capable of naturally, easily and satisfactorily performing our many and varied daily tasks with spontaneous zest and pleasure."

The Pilates principles you will be taught are:










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15 May 2014

Studio Operating Times March 2015

Core Connection will be operating  from 7.30am - 1pm.

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15 May 2014


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  • 22 March 2012

    "Pilates tydens swangerskap hou baie voordele in. Ek het gevind my laerugpyn was baie beter na elke klas en ek kon die oefeninge tuis ook doen. My swak postuur het verbeter en my lyf was minder seer. Die bekkenvloer-oefeninge het ook my blaas en uterus ondersteun. Omdat ek baie kortasem gevoel het tydens my swangerskap, het die asemhalingsoefeninge my laat ontspan en ek glo dit het ook 'n positiewe effek op my baba gehad. Ek kan die klasse aanbeveel vir elke swanger vrou!"

    Sanet Barkhuizen
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