Joseph Pilates was born in Germany in 1883. As a young boy he struggled with illnesses and asthma. He used exercise to strengthen his body and lungs. He studied the Greek’s ideas of the perfectly balanced man. Balanced in body, mind and spirit. Infatuated with this idea, he developed the exercise system we now call Pilates.
When World War I began he was in England. He was interned as an “enemy alien” with some other German men. While there, he worked to hone his skills and ideas. Joseph pulled the springs from hospital beds and hooked patients’ legs to the springs to help them rehab.
This is how the first reformer was created!
In 1926 Joseph came to the United States and along his journey met Clara, his wife. They opened their first fitness studio in New York City. Their practice was very popular among dancers and gymnasts.
Joseph continued to train students in his studio until his death at age 87 in year 1967.