What is the Pilates Method?

Joseph Pilates' system uses six principles to achieve maximum results while you educate and develop your mind and body.


All work is controlled through the center, or "powerhouse." All exercises are done with proper alignment to maintain balance in the body.


Exercises are performed with focused concentration, paying attention to how the individual executes the exercises. The mind guides the body.


When performing the exercises properly, you are in control of all of the movement of your body. Habit does not guide the execution of the exercises.


All exercises are performed with a clear structure and precise form. The work emphasizes quality, not quantity in order to reach the full benefit of each exercise.


The full workout is designed for one exercise to flow naturally into the next. There is a minimum of movement between exercises to create a maximum flow.


All exercises are done with a rhythm and a dynamic related to the heartbeat and respiration.

Originally called "Contrology" Joseph Pilates' system emphasizes concentration and control with the integration of flexibility, strength, precision, breath, flow of movement, and awareness between the body and the mind. His method involves the use of specific exercises performed on their own and in conjunction with specially designed apparatus and equipment. Every individual receives a program within the system of exercises that is tailored to his or her needs and fitness level. Instruction is conducted one on one or in small groups by highly trained practitioners of the Pilates method. It is one of the only exercise systems that work from the inside out and strengthens what Pilates called the "powerhouse". The "powerhouse" is the deepest muscles in the abdomen, inner thighs, buttocks and lower back.

Joseph H. Pilates' original method, practiced as he developed it, is a system of stretching and strengthening exercises that has provided these unwavering positive results for over seven decades:

Mat Work

Joseph Pilates' research and education encompassed western and eastern medicine, yoga, ancient Greek philosophies, karate, anatomy, mathematics, and engineering. Over his lifetime he developed a unique scientific system of body conditioning that transformed the health and bodies of those who practiced his method. The basis of his work is a series of exercises performed on a mat. The mat work emphasizes quality and precision rather than quantity of repetitions. Each exercise, performed in sequence, is designed not only to strengthen and stretch but to integrate your body's muscles so that correct form and posture become a part of your daily activities throughout life. The mat work teaches us that the most important tool to achieve physical fitness is the body itself.

Apparatus Work

The system developed by Joseph Pilates includes the use of uniquely designed apparatus in conjunction with the mat work. The apparatus utilize straps, springs and supports, creating isometric resistance with the body's weight to massage, align, stretch, and strengthen muscles. The use of equipment meeting Joseph Pilates' exacting specifications, is directly related to the ability to perform the exercises correctly and to achieving the full benefits of his method.