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About Pilates

What is Pilates?

Pilates is a method of exercise developed by German-born Joseph Hubertus Pilates (1880-1967). In 1926, Joseph and Clara Pilates brought their exercise system, originally called 'Contrology' to New York City. The Pilates method is a physical movement program encompassing the ‘mind-body’ connection designed to stretch, strengthen and balance the body.

Pilates exercises focus on postural symmetry, breath control, abdominal strength, spine, pelvis and shoulder stabilization, muscular flexibility, joint mobility and strengthening through the complete range of motion of all joints. Instead of isolating muscle groups, the whole body is trained, integrating the upper and lower extremities with the trunk.

With systematic practice of specific exercises coupled with focused breathing patterns Pilates has proven itself invaluable not only as a fitness endeavour itself, but also as an important adjunct to professional sports training and physical rehabilitation of all kinds.

The Body Control Pilates method takes a progressive approach to the original classical repertoire of Joseph Pilates, whereby each exercise is broken down into a series of manageable exercises to suit all ages and fitness levels. These are performed in a slow and controlled fashion with the emphasis on quality rather that quantity. Therefore a refined series of exercises has been developed winning the respect of the medical profession so we can all enjoy the benefits of the method and work gradually towards the full classical mat.


  • Develops every aspect of physical fitness: strength, flexibility, mobility, coordination, speed, agility and endurance
  • Heightens body awareness
  • Enhances body control
  • Reduces incidence of back/joint pain and headaches
  • Teaches correct muscle activation
  • Corrects posture and alignment
  • Facilitates optimal function of the internal organs
  • Improves balance and sensory awareness
  • Strengthens pelvic floor and improves control
  • Focuses on breathing and its related physical and psychological attributes
  • Offers a vehicle for concentration and focus
  • Promotes relaxation and the release of tension
  • Helps keep musculature and bone structure in an optimal state
  • Assists pregnant wormen by providing safe, effective, non impact exercise activity
  • Serves as a cross-training tool for athletic pursuits and daily activities
  • Distributes body mass more aesthetically (people report looking and feeling slimmer)
  • Provides path to inner harmony through a finely tuned body
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"I dislike gyms and have over the years tried many exercise classes and dropped out mainly from boredom. However, with Zip Pilates and Nicole, I have found an exercise class which I look forward to going to and which has already in just over a year given me greater flexibility, better posture and the full use of a badly broken arm."
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Contrology is complete coordination of body, mind and spirit. Through Contrology you first purposefully acquire complete control of your own body and then through proper repetition of its exercises you gradually and progressively acquire that natural rhythmn and coordination associated with all your mental and sub-conscious activities.

Joseph Pilates 1945