Joseph Pilates was born in Germany in 1880. He was a sickly child suffering from many illnesses which had such a massive impact on his health that doctors warned his parent he would likely die prematurely.
He was so determined to bring his health back to peak physical condition he began studying yoga, martial arts, boxing and weightlifting and became lean and muscular. With this knowledge he moved to England and began teaching his findings.
During the First World War he worked as a nurse helping injured soldiers recover and rehabilitate by modifying hospital beds and using these to assist in performing resistance work to improve strength, endurance and flexibility.
In 1926 Pilates emigrated to the US and opened his studio where he advised and taught dancers exercises to overcome their dance related injuries.
Over the years his original work has evolved to take on a more contemporary and scientifically approach and in 1970 Pilates was introduced to the UK.