Pilates was developed by Joseph Hubertus Pilates (1883-1967), who as sickly child had turned to various exercise regimes going on to develop his own system of exercises. He carried on refining his ideas and designing equipment based on hospital beds and springs while interned in England during WWI. Moving to the USA after WWI and setting up a studio in New York with his wife Clara where he worked with many New York ballet dancers.

"Contrology is designed to give you suppleness, natural grace and skill that will be unmistakably reflected in the way you walk, in the way you play and in the way you work."

Joseph H. Pilates

 Pilates (or Contrology as Joe called it) is a method of exercise that consists of low-impact flexibility, muscular strength and endurance movements. Pilates emphasizes proper alignment, balances muscular forces and increases flexibility and range of motion. 

There is more to Pilates than just the matwork groups many people associate with it. In a studio environment there are many pieces of equipment that can be used to both assist or offer resistance for the maximum benefit.