Many people have heard of Pilates, —it’s exercise ‘like yoga’ say many, but in reality, the truth is that people know very little about what’s behind the method apart from maybe the use of mats and some other pieces of small equipment.
If anything, Pilates is a virtuous circle. You exercise and it makes your body stronger, which has a positive emotional eﬀect. You continue to exercise and, as you improve, you get the benefits – the buzz of being stronger both inside and out.
‘The acquirement and enjoyment of physical well-being, mental calm and spiritual peace are priceless to their possessors.’ —J.P.
So what is Pilates? It is a method that consists of the repetition of diﬀerent exercises designed to attain body conditioning, awareness and control over all the muscles in your body. It’s not random exercises put together but a well-thought-out system that takes a lot of practice, precision, concentration, breathe, fluidity, strength and flexibility to create a supple body ‘like the one of a cat’, as its founder once said, and ease of movement in all aspects of your life.
‘Not only is health a normal condition, but it is our duty to not only to attain it but to maintain it.’ —J.P.
Who was the man behind the method? Joseph Humbertus Pilates was born near Dusseldorf, Germany, of Greek descendent but he moved to NYC after the WWI. His father was a gymnast and his mother was a naturopath; she believed that by eating certain foods the body has the ability to heal itself without using artificial drugs. But as a small child Joseph Pilates suﬀered from diﬀerent illnesses which made him search for ways to heal his body.
‘Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness’ —J.P.
He believed it is our responsibility to attain health and to maintain it, so he dedicated his life to developing this system of interlinked exercises and he also designed some apparatus to perform all of these movements in order to achieve full potential. He called his system Contrology.
‘Contrology is the complete coordination of body, mind and spirit. Through this system, you first purposefully acquire complete control of your own body and then through proper repetitions of its exercises you gradually and progressively acquire the natural rhythm and coordination associated with all your subconscious activities.’ —J. P.
Marta Lamolla is a pilates teacher and traveller with a passion for food, healthy living and wellness. She runs Caribbean-wide fitness retreats. A former linguist and tour guide, adventure is her middle name. Her quest for knowledge never ends. She is the owner of Marta’s Yard Pilates studio in Kingston, Jamaica.
Peak Pilates Certified Teacher
A new relationship with your body