Pilates is a method of exercise invented by Joseph Hubertus Pilates.
Born in Germany in 1883, Joseph Pilates was a sickly child who suffered from asthma, rickets and rheumatic fever. His father was a gymnast and his mother, a naturopath. It was these influences and his personal practices which led him to develop the series of movements now known as Pilates.
Joseph Pilates devoted his entire life to improving his physical wellbeing. He was a keen skier who also studied bodybuilding, yoga, kung fu and gymnastics.
He was posing for anatomical charts by the age of fourteen and also went on to work as a professional boxer and circus performer. Pilates believed that a modern, sedentary lifestyle, poor posture and inefficient breathing were the fundamental causes of health problems.
Having moved to England in 1912 and subsequently returning to Germany after the First World War, Joseph Pilates finally resided in New York with his wife, Clara, and together they set up the first Pilates studio. The Pilates method soon became popular with ballerinas, and the performing arts and dance communities.
After gaining popularity over the years, Pilates is now widely recognised by health and fitness industry experts for its many benefits.
Pilates uses a series of flowing movements and breathing techniques that help to improve flexibility, strength, posture, core stability and fitness levels. Pilates also assists with relaxation, coordination and injury rehabilitation.
Pilates is taught both on a mat (matwork Pilates) and on various studio equipment, such as a Pilates reformer machine.
I started Pilates classes on a recommendation from a physiotherapist, and therefore was expecting rather boring and mechanical repetitions that were meant to be ‘good for...
Yuko Uchida, London
Lydia is an excellent personal trainer and Pilates instructor. She helped keep me motivated and gives excellent practical instructions which make exercising easy. I’d...
Rebecca Keene, 30, London
I was referred to Lydia after she helped my Dad with his posture and back problems. I was suffering with hyper-mobility of my right arm and it was causing me pain and discomfort...
Paddy, 31, London