Joseph Pilates was born in Germany in 1883. His father was a gymnast and his mother a naturopath. Joseph was a sickly child with asthma and rickets. To better health and overcome his physical adversity he began studying anatomy and practicing martial arts, wrestling, gymnastics and body building. By 14 he had developed his strength and muscles and was modeling for anatomy charts.
Joseph Pilates believed in the importance of mind, body, and spirit. He began developing Contrology; which addressed muscular imbalances, poor posture, strength, balance and flexibility. When the war began he was in an internment camp with poor health conditions all around. He began to insist that everyone in his block participate in daily exercise. When an injured soldier could not leave his bed, Joesph would pull the bed springs out and attach them to the metal bed frame and give him resistance exercises. He later expanded on this idea to develope the Reformer, Caddillac and Chair.
In the late 1920's Joseph immigrated to the United States and married a nurse, Clara, and together they opened a fitness studio in New York. Joe continued to invent new pieces of equipment and further his teaching and methods of Contrology (aka Pilates). His work began gaining attention from the dance community and he worked with the Great George Balanchine and Martha Graham. His teaching and ideas were ahead of his time and genius. He created a program and ideology that benefits the whole body and is still relevant and growing today. Over 13 million practice Pilates today and that number still increase because of its adaptability and effectiveness.