The Pilates Method is a system of physical conditioning developed by Joseph Pilates in the early twentieth century. He called it Contrology: the art of control over the body, mind and spirit, although it is popularly known by its originator’s surname. Nowadays, it is considered one of the most complete methods of physical conditioning.
It consists of over 500 exercises, from the very basic to the most complex, that stretch and strengthen the muscles and are done using different equipment developed exclusively for this method. Pilates is suitable for all ages, regardless of the physical condition of the person.
After Joseph Pilates’s death in October 1967, the dancer Romana Kryzanowska continued teaching the Pilates method faithfully following the master’s teachings and creating the Romana´s Pilates Studio, the seal of guarantee that identifies the authentic Pilates method.
The fundamental part of the Pilates method is the so-called powerhouse, as its creator called it. It is the belt that goes from the ribs to the lowest part of the pelvis. Activating and strengthening it is fundamental to support the torso, improve posture and harmonise one’s movements.
Besides the powerhouse that is the fundamental basis of the Pilates method, there are five other principles that complete the philosophy and pillars of the system: concentration, control, precision, breathing and fluidity of movement.
True Pilates is done with a series of equipment designed and developed by Joseph Pilates specifically for his method. It is very important that this equipment is an authentic replica of the original models in order to obtain the desired results.
The Pilates equipment is simple and plainly designed. They were conceived to be used by anyone, regardless of their physical condition, and they are very efficient for working on different parts of the body, allowing one to do hundreds of exercises with a great range of movements without much trouble.
Particularly noteworthy are the “Universal Reformer”, the most used piece of equipment that helps to “reform” the body holistically from head to toe, and the “Cadillac”, a bed-like platform with a metal frame. Other equipment includes the high chair, the wunda chair, the baby chair, the tower or guillotine, the large barrel, the small barrel, the spine corrector, the pedi-pole and the magic circle.