Pilates is an exercise system developed by Joseph Pilates to strengthen muscles, increase flexibility, and improve overall health. Exercises are performed on a mat and on specifically designed equipment. The Pilates system includes exercises for every part of the body and applications for every kind of activity. Over 10 million people are now practicing Pilates in the United States and the numbers are growing every year.

Pilates focuses on engaging the mind and body together to create exercises that engage the mind, body, and spirit. Every exercise is performed with attention to the breath, proper form, and efficient movement patterns. Pilates strengthens the core, improves balance, increases coordination, and decreases stress. The exercises are relatively safe, low impact, and appropriate for anyone from 10 to 100. Pilates focuses on learning to move better so the benefits are felt in everyday life.

John, Nora St. Pilates Mat Manual. Balanced Body University, 2011.

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