The Pilates method is based on the teachings and philosophy of the late Joseph H. Pilates (1880-1967). Using both Western and Eastern philosophies, the system aims to create perfect harmony between body and mind in order to stimulate the neuromuscular system and to promote a healthy physical structure. It is often referred to as "remedial gymnastics" and is frequently prescribed to rehabilitate and prevent injuries.

Pilates is a movement system that draws on six principles: Concentration, Centering, Control, Breathing, Precision and Flowing Movement. It combines deep breathing and controlled, non-weight bearing motion. It releases tensions and aligns the spine, corrects muscular imbalances and creates postural alignment. Further, it promotes core stability, flexibility, and correct joint functioning.

Specialized Pilates apparatus (Reformer, Barrel, Cadillac, Power Circle, Tower, High and Low Chair) utilize the resistance of springs and the natural oppositional forces of the body. Such machine work is especially recommended for people with back and joint problems. In addition, the method has produced excellent results for women who want to exercise before and after a pregnancy. Pilates can be performed by most people regardless of their level of fitness.

If you have special requirements, such as physical limitations or injuries, we recommend that you take private classes. This means that you have one teacher to yourself who can focus all the attention on you. This way she or he can select and adapt the exercises to suit your individual needs.


Pilates is a rich discipline with many types of equipment that serve to work different muscles and keep workouts fresh and interesting. The three main components, are the Mat, the Reformer, and the Cadillac, but there are also smaller apparatus that are used alongside these three. Here are brief descriptions of the types of Pilates equipment you might encounter at Corpus Studios™ and what you can expect to get out of using them.


  Mat is the most basic, and probably the most familiar, component of the Pilates system. A wide variety of exercises can be conducted on the Mat to work a variety of muscles. Mat is the best place for those completely new to Pilates to get a sense of what it is all about.


  The Reformer was the first piece of apparatus created by Joseph Pilates, and it remains a key piece today: in the Pilates system, the Reformer and the Mat are the primary structures around which the other apparatus are built. The purpose of the Reformer is to provide an unstable surface to which the body must adapt to develop the proprioceptive reflexes and the neuromuscular firing patterns within the body. Because of the inherent benefits of working on an unstable surface, we are better able to create balance in the body in a 3-dimensional sphere of directions. In addition to the unstable surface, the use of springs challenges the body concentrically.


  The first Cadillac was created by Joseph Pilates and modeled after a hospital bed with the springs attached to the wall. Because of the multi-directional range of movement it allows, the Cadillac is excellent for working small muscle groups and doing specific rehabilitative exercises; in fact, that was its original purpose. The Tower is different from the Cadillac, but most exercises taught are easily adapted from Cadillac to Tower; only certain specific rehabilitation and suspension exercises must be performed on the Cadillac. Most Cadillac/Tower exercises focus on addressing individual needs on a stable surface, which helps to address compensations and imbalances.


  Originally designed by Joseph Pilates for use in tiny New York City apartments, the Chair is probably the most practical piece of Pilates apparatus in existence. It lends itself easily to use in the home or in small studios, and can be used to perform a wide array of exercises, from the rehabilitative to some verging on acrobatics. Its user-friendly nature has spawned variations: there is the original Wunda Chair (or Low Chair), the High Chair, the High/Low Chair, and the Arm or Baby Chair. Traditionally, the Chair was used to meet individual needs, but it’s also useful in a collective setting for spicing up a class with other apparatus or mat. Many of the positions on the Chair can be done standing or sitting, making it highly effective for people who are unable to lie down, accessible to pregnant women, and all around a good piece for rehabilitative purposes.


  There are many different types of barrels and related small apparatus: ladder barrels, spine correctors, baby arches, and contemporary versions. They were created by Joseph Pilates to put the spine into an “ideal” bridge position to open and decompress the front of the body (shoulder girdle, full spine, hips). Barrels and related small apparatus are used to open, lengthen and decompress while developing strength. 


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