What is Pilates?
Developed in the late 1800s by Joseph H. Pilates, Pilates was originally called Contrology.
Pilates in one sentence, from Joseph H. Pilates himself: “In 10 sessions, you will feel the difference, in 20 sessions you will see the difference, and in 30 sessions, you will have a whole new body.” Joseph H. Pilates
What can Pilates do for me?
Flatten your stomach
Tighten your buttocks and thighs
Make you “Taller”
Help you sleep better
Improve bone density, cholesterol levels and blood pressure
Tone and tighten every muscle in the body from the inside out so you can get really strong without adding too much bulk
Establish mind-body connection
Here is an excerpt taken directly from “Return to Life Through Contrology” written by Joseph H. Pilates in 1934:
“Contrology is complete coordination of body, mind and spirit. Through Contrology you first purposefully acquire complete control of your own body and then through proper repetition of these excercises you gradually and progressively acquire that natural rhythm and coordination associated with all your subconscious activities. This true rhythm and control is observed both in domestic pets and wild animals-without known exceptions.
Contrology develops the body uniformly, corrects wrong posture, restores physical vitality, invigorates the mind and elevates the spirit. In childhood with rare exception, we all enjoy the benefits of natural and normal physical development. However, as we mature we find ourselves living in bodies not complimentary to our ego. Our bodies are slumped, our shoulders are stooped, our eyes are hollow, our muscles are flabby and our vitality extremely lowered, if not vanished. This is but the natural result of not having uniformly developed all the muscles of our spine, trunk, arms and legs in the course of pursuing our daily labors and office activities.
If you faithfully perform your Contrology exercises regularly only four times per week for just 3 months as outlined in this book you will find your new body development approaching ideal, accompanied by renewed mental vigor and spiritual enhancement. Contrology is designed to give you suppleness, natural grace, and skill that will be unmistakably reflected in the way you walk in the way you play and in the way you work. You will develop muscular power with corresponding endurance, ability to perform arduous duties, to play strenuous games, to walk, run or travel for long distances without undue body fatigue or mental strain. And this is by no means the end.
One of the major results of Contrology is gaining the mastery of your mind over the complete control of your body. How many beginners are amazed and chagrined to discover how few (if any) Contrology exercises they are able to execute properly! Their previous failure to exercise regularly and properly, or their method of training, has not helped them. There is unmistakable evidence, too, that the functioning of the brain has correspondingly deteriorated. The brain itself is actually a sort of natural telephone switchboard exchange incorporated in our bodies as a means of communication through the sympathetic nervous system to all our muscles. Unfortunately, pure reason plays only a minor role in the lives of most of us. In practically every instance, the daily acts we perform are governed by what we THINK we see, hear or touch without stopping first to analyze or think of the possible result of our action, good or bad. As a result of habit or reflux action, we wink, dodge and operate machines more or less automatically. IDEALLY OUR MUSCLES SHOULD OBEY OUR WILL REASONABLY, OUR WILL SHOULD NOT BE DOMINATED BY THE REFLEX ACTIONS OF OUR MUSCLES. When brain cells are developed, the mind too is developed. Teachers start with sense organs. Contrology begins with mind over muscles.
By reawakening thousands and thousands of otherwise ordinarily dormant muscles cells, Contrology correspondingly reawakens thousands and thousands of dormant brain cells, thus activating new areas and stimulating further the functioning of the mind. No wonder then that so many persons express such great surprise following their initial experience with Contrology exercises caused by their realization of the resulting sensation of “uplift”. For the first time in many years their minds have been truly awakened. Continued use of Contrology steadily increases the normal and natural supply of pure rich blood to flow to and circulate throughout the brain with corresponding stimulation to new brain areas previously dormant. More significantly, it actually develops new brain cells. G. Stanley Hall, the great American psychologist, observed “The culture of muscles is brain-building”.”