“Get to know Joe”


Many people are unaware that Pilates as we know it is the namesake of Joesph H. Pilates.

Born in 1880 in Dusseldorf, Germany, he was a sickly child having suffered from rickets, asthma and rheumatic fever. His motivation to overcome these ailments led him in to a life- long pursuit of physical activity which included gymnastics, diving, bodybuilding and boxing.

In the era of WWI, he was interned in a camp with other German nationals. While there, he devised a system of training many non-ambulatory patients that provided rehabilitation for many soldiers.

The modern equipment pieces we use today in Pilates Studios are historically linked to Joseph's original designs indicating a resemblance to actual hospital bed frames. The spring resistance used today is similar to Pilates usage of hospital bedsprings fashioned into a legitimate resistance form.

In 1926 Joseph moved to the US and set up his first studio with wife Clara in NYC. The studio attracted many from the dance community, athletes and NY socialites. Pilates called his method CONTROLOGY.

Joe and Clara lived in the 8th Avenue space which was also their working studio. The building still stands today and has been home to numerous Pilates studios over time.

Joseph Pilates was truly a man ahead of his time. His work was and is considered genius by many.

His contribution to the world of mind, body and spirit is a legacy to those of us involved.

Some of our favorite quotes from Joe include...


"The art of Contrology (Pilates) proves that the only real guide to your true age lies not in years or how you THINK you feel but as you ACTUALLY are as infallibly indicated by the degree of natural and normal flexibility enjoyed by your spine throughout life".

"Contrology (Pilates) is not a fatiguing system of dull, boring, abhorred exercises repeated daily"

"Contrology (Pilates) develops the body uniformly, corrects wrong postures, restores physical vitality, invigorates the mind and elevates the spirit".
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Pilates has made all the difference in the world in helping me be a successful masters athlete in softball and racquetball at the national level. I'm a 63 year old woman and has successfully recovered from a hip resurface one year ago! I have worked with Aimee Levesque over seven years and extensively during the recovery phase of my hip.  Pilates means core strength and endurance which translates into torque, power, and flexibility in sports. Smart Body Pilates Studio is state of the art and Aimee is a superb instructor and trainer. I look forward to continuing Pilates with Aimee for many sports years to come!

Dee, 63 years old

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