Classical Pilates

Is It For Me?

Is It For Me?

Classical Pilates is a workout pure and simple. Deciding if it is for you means paying close attention to your physical exercise needs and personal goals. It should fit your age, lifestyle and contribute to your overall well-being.

If you answer yes to any of the following questions Pilates is a great fit!

• Do you have poor posture?

• Do you have tightness in your legs or shoulders?

• Do you suffer from chronic back or neck aches?

• Do you have balance problems?

• Is your core weak?

• Is your ability to do daily tasks impaired?

• Do you often get injured?

• Do you want to improve basic body mechanics?

• Are you an athlete looking to improve your game?

About Pilates


Classical Pilates is based on the original system of controlled movements developed by Joseph Pilates. His method of training is based on more than 500 exercises, performed on several unique pieces of apparatus. The exercises are performed with a high degree of precision and mental focus, with minimal repetitions.

The powerhouse, Pilates terminology for core strength, is the heart of the system. Core stabilization promotes improved function of the musculoskeletal system, enhances circulation and creates a healthy balance between strength and flexibility of the total body.

“Our interpretation of physical fitness is the attainment and maintenance of a uniformly developed body with a sound mind fully capable of naturally, easily, and satisfactorily performing our many and varied daily tasks with spontaneous zest and pleasure”

Joseph Pilates

History of the

Pilates Method

Joseph Pilates

Joseph Pilates was born in Mönchengladbach, a small town near Düsseldorf, Germany, in 1880. He was a rather frail and sickly child who suffered from a variety of aliments such as asthma, rickets and rheumatic fever. He overcame his afflictions through training his body in both western and eastern forms of exercise, in addition to being an accomplished diver, skier, gymnast, boxer and circus performer. His fascination with the study of anatomy was promoted through the memorization of anatomy books and studying the movement of animals in their natural habitat. At a later stage his body was so developed that he became a model for anatomy charts.

In 1912 Joseph moved to England to further his training as a boxer and at the same time began his successful career along with his brother as a circus performer. Unfortunately in 1914 when WW1 broke out he was interned in a “camp” for German nationals as an enemy alien. During his incarceration he taught his fellow prisoners a series of exercises later called “Contrology” which combined elements of physical fitness, breathing and mental focus to increase strength and flexibility. During the later part of the war Joseph’s teaching in the camps took on a more rehabilitative structure, in his role as a hospital orderly. Here he developed the use of bedsprings for resistance training for patients to build core strength and increase flexibility while still being bed-ridden. Much of the equipment used today by Pilate’s instructors is designed after the original hospital improvisations Joseph developed, such as the reformer, Cadillac, barrels and magic circles.

The Studio

After the war Joseph returned to Germany and became involved in personal training as well as in the physical training of the Hamburg Military Police in self-defense. Not content with the growing political climate of Germany in 1925 he parted for the United States. It has also been stated that Joseph was asked to train the New German Army and declined, which further supported his decision to immigrate to the USA. While en route to the United States Joseph met his wife Clara and it is with her that they opened their first studio in New York City on Eighth Avenue.

Joseph and Clara’s studio in New York was located near several dance companies, studios and rehearsal spaces, which helped to promote and lay the strong foundation of the Pilates technique within the dance community. Many renowned choreographers studied at the studio in addition to requiring their dancers to work with Joseph and Clara. George Balanchine, Martha Graham, Hanya Holm, Jerome Robbins and Ted Shawn are just a few of the choreographers that pay tribute to the Pilates technique for the strengthening, balancing and rehabilitating of their dancers.

Joseph Pilates died in 1967 at the age of 87, after suffering injuries sustained in a fire in the studio building. Clara continued to run the studio for 10 years following his death and she passed away in 1977 . Today the Pilates training has expanded its’ realm of devotees beyond the dance world into health care practioners, physiotherapists, fitness trainers, athletes, and persons interested in developing a life-long lasting state of pure and simple “being fit” at any age.

With Joe's death in 1967 the studio leadership then fell to Clara Pilates as well as their protégé, Romana Kryzanowska who took over when Clara died ten years later. Romana Kryzanowska was introduced to Joseph Pilates and his conditioning method in 1940 through her ballet teacher, George Balanchine. She soon became a working student at the studio, and starting in 1958 she trained clients side by side with Joseph and Clara Pilates.

In this time period there were no certification programs like those that exist today. The ability to teach and work at a studio was delegated by the studio owners. Thus, Joe and Clara said Romana should teach and she did.

Romana promised Joe that she would train other instructors in his method. After Joseph and Clara’s death, she structured the program and founded Romana’s Pilates School. The school was later renamed True Pilates New York and is now run by Romana’s daughter, Sari Mejia Santo and her granddaughter Daria Pace. Romana passed away in 2013. Although she retired from teaching in 2004, she continued to mentor other teachers, prepared master instructors, and completed a comprehensive video series, The Legacy Edition.

Romana’s Pilates training program always remained faithful to the original and authentic legacy of Joseph Pilates: long hours of apprenticeship, observation, and supervised exams, both written and oral, given by qualified teachers. The rigor of the schooling guarantees that students emerge as highly qualified, professional instructors. The certificate of achievement is world-renowned.

To learn more see link below: Romana’s Pilates training program