Joseph H. Pilates, was the founder of the Pilates exercise method. He was born in Germany. As a child he was frail, living with asthma and other childhood conditions. To build his body and grow stronger, he took up several different sports, eventually becoming an accomplished athlete. As a nurse in Great Britain during World War I, he designed exercise methods and equipment for immobilised patients and soldiers.
In addition to his equipment, Pilates developed a series of mat exercises that focus on the body as a whole. He based these exercises on various methods from around the world, among them the mind-body formats of yoga and Chinese martial arts.
Joseph Pilates believed that our physical and mental health are intertwined. He designed his exercise program around principles that support this philosophy, including concentration, precision, control, breathing, and flowing movements. Mr Pilates died in the 1960’s.