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The History of Pilates

Joseph H. Pilates: The Legendary Trainer

Joseph H. Pilates was born in Dusseldorf, Germany, in 1880 and developed an early interest in physical health and body conditioning. He was a frail child who had asthma, rickets, and rheumatic fever, and so Joseph H. Pilates became dedicated to health and fitness to overcome these ailments. Joseph H. Pilates trained as a body builder, boxer, skier, diver, and gymnast.

He moved to England in 1912 and trained detectives in self-defense. During World War I, Joseph H. Pilates was interned as an "enemy alien" with other Germans in Lancaster, then the Isle of Man. He became a nurse during this time, training other camp internees to keep physically fit with his unique exercises that used spring resistance. Joseph H. Pilates was given credit when none of the individuals he trained succumbed to an epidemic of influenza, which killed thousands of others in England during 1918.

Joseph H. Pilates' system of body conditioning continued to develop with his design of specific apparatuses. After relocating to Hamburg for a period of time, where he helped train the police force in his method of body conditioning, Joseph H. Pilates decided to immigrate to New York City. He opened the first Pilates studio here in the U.S. in 1926. Soon after, such notable choreographers as Martha Graham and George Balanchine became devoted to the benefits of the Pilates Method, and would send their own students and dancers to train with Joseph H. Pilates. He believed that mental health and physical health were essential to one another. As a "genius of the body" Joseph H. Pilates created a method of total body conditioning that emphasized proper alignment, centering, concentration, control, precision, breathing, and flowing movement that resulted in increased flexibility, strength, muscle tone, body awareness, energy, and improved mental concentration.

The Pilates Method of Body Conditioning is practiced by people all over the world who are at every level of fitness. In addition, The Pilates Method of Body Conditioning is used by professional athletes, actors, sports teams, dancers, performing arts school students, and members of health clubs and gyms.

The Benefits of Pilates

Preventing injuries
Enhancing athletic performance
Increase flexibility
Increase strength and core strength
Tone, flat Abs
Better posture
Sense of well being
Long, lean muscles
Mind/body connection
Increase balance

Pilates with Sylviane

Sylviane is Stott Pilates certified in mat and reformer and specializes in several types of pilates. She is available for in house as well as on location sessions in the greater Pasadena and Santa Clarita area. She teaches mat pilates, ballet Pilates & group Equipment classes. She is available for one on one and small groups classes.

For more information regarding rates, availability, techniques and studio location, please contact sylviane at:

Group Mat Pilates Class

One on one Reformer Session


LeAnn's Testimonial

I am 46 years old and have been working out fairly consistently my entire adult life. I have had various injuries over the years so it is very important to me that I work out with a trainer who really knows what is going on. I have been really pleased with the training I have received from Sylviane. She is very knowledgeable and really understands the importance of balancing strength training, cardio and stretching. Using a combination of both weights and pilates, I have seen tremendous results in my many years of working with Sylviane and I feel great!

LeAnn Healy

Bob's Testimonial

I was approaching my 48th birthday, knowing 50 wasn't far away and I didn't like what I saw in the mirror. I didn't like how I felt and I wanted more energy. I wanted my clothes to fit. I wanted to plan for a long active life with my young children. But, I needed someone to help me. I needed someone to teach me the right way to get fit and how to stay fit. No small order. But, with Sylviane's coaching and encouragement, in 18 months I was able to lose 22 pounds and begin to re-define my body while strengthening the weakest, most vulnerable areas. I dropped my resting heart rate to 59 and reduced my cholesterol into the normal range.

I have had 3 back surgeries and after many years of physical neglect, my body had to re-learn the basics of working out, warming up, stretching and strength building as each one applied to my particular case. In order to effect long-term change, I really wanted to understand the purpose of the exercises as well as the techniques. Each step of the way, Sylviane clearly explained what we were doing and why. That understanding allows me to get the most effective workout completed in the little time that a busy family and business schedule allows.

Bob May

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