117 Calvin Street, Savoy IL 61874

Brief history of pilates

“Physical fitness is the first prerequisite of happiness.” -- Joseph Pilates (1880-1967)

Joseph Pilates defined fitness as “the attainment and maintenance of a uniformly developed body with a sound mind fully capable of naturally, easily and satisfactorily performing our many varied and daily tasks with spontaneous zest and pleasure.”

History of Joe:
Joseph Pilates was born in Germany, a frail and weak child with asthma and rickets. He was obsessed with physical fitness and went on to become an accomplished boxer, gymnast and self-defense instructor. Self-studied in anatomy and eastern forms of exercise, he called his method 'Contrology'. There are many stories of Joe working with interred German soldiers on the Isle of Man during WWI. In 1926, Pilates emigrated to the United States meeting his future wife Clara on the journey across the Atlantic. Joe and Clara opened a physical fitness studio in NYC where they began working with dancers and circus performers, as well as those afflicted with paralysis and scoliosis.

History of Romana:
After suffering an ankle injury from ballet, Romana Kryzanowska met Joseph Pilates at the urging of George Balanchine. Romana became Joseph's star pupil and protégée, working alongside both Joe and Clara. Over 60 years later, Romana is our teacher, and her family (daughter Sari and granddaughter Daria) carries on the teaching tradition today.

Keeping Joe's spirit alive through the lineage of his work with Romana by providing clients with pilates training as it was meant to be is our commitment at Ascend, A Studio for Pilates.