Pilates is a form of exercise that emphasizes the balanced development of the body through core strength, flexibility, and control in order to support efficient, graceful movement to develop long, lean muscles. Attention toward the mind-body connection helps to execute exercises with precision in order to gain more from the workout. Exercises can be performed on a mat or specially designed equipment.
Joseph Pilates, creator of what is known today as Pilates opened his first studio in New York City in 1926. For the duration of his life, he continued teaching and developing "Contrology" exercises and equipment. He penned a book, Return to Life Through Contrology, published in 1945 which conveys the breadth and power of his method.