History of Pilates

Joseph Pilates was born in 1880, Germany. He grew up a very sickly child and as a result of such affliction became obsessed with obtaining knowledge and understanding the mechanics of the body. As a teenager, he became skilled in gymnastics, skiing and Boxing. His determination and application to work his weak body to better health meant that, at 14 he was studying musculature of the body, he was also able to pose for anatomical drawings. His studies also included Eastern forms of exercise and, merging these with his Western physical studies, the Pilates Method was born. Pilates named this method “Contrology”.

The basis of the Pilates method is the conscious control of all muscular movements in the body – “Contrology” (Josepeph Pilates 1943).

What to expect

Pilates provides a strength and relaxation workout. In Pilates your centre is your powerhouse, each exercise is controlled by the contraction of the abdominal and lower back muscles. The challenge is maintaining stabilization of the core muscles whilst moving the limbs through all planes of movement. For the more advanced student, the addition of small equipment such as the Magic Circle, Hand Weights, Resistance Band and Small Ball add to the challenge by bringing an increased awareness to the target muscles and deep stabilizers.

Music matters at Yogalilies: expect an eclectic mix depending on class level. A beginner’s class can enjoy a chilled out beat in the background, allowing the mind to focus on correct movement patterns. Or, you may hear funky soulful beats in a more demanding class to help increase performance on those challenging Pilates moves. To end the class expect a short relaxation to leave you feeling calm, refreshed and invigorated.


The practice of Pilates assists in re-teaching the mind and body to recruit core muscles and execute correct movement patterns which may have been affected due to injury, repetitive sporting movements, or poor posture. Regular class attendance will build strength, correct postural imbalances and improve co-ordination and balance. The Pilates technique takes time to learn –  it cannot be taught in an hour, you will need to practice at home and attend at least six beginners’ sessions before you feel comfortable with the technique, be patient!!!

“In ten sessions, you will feel the difference, in twenty you will see the difference, and in thirty you’ll have a whole new body.” (Josepeph Pilates 1943).

What Do I Wear?

Please dress for comfort ensuring you have complete freedom of movement (most people wear stretch pants or shorts and a t-shirt or sports top). You don’t need shoes – you’ll train in bare feet or socks, whichever you prefer (bare feet is best). Mats are provided, however it is recommended that you bring your own to help build the relationship between you and your mat!