Please contact Marlene Reynolds at860-227-5790

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Pilates For Life, 26A Saybrook Road, Essex, CT 06426

Joseph Pilates


Clara Pilates


Romana Kryzanowska

Joseph Hubertus Pilates was born in 1884 in Germany. Joseph as a child was sickly and frail, suffering from rheumatic fever, asthma and rickets. As a young man he began studying body building and yoga, as well as spending time observing animals and how they moved. He also read about the ancient philosophies of Greece. All these combined to influence how he approached exercise and how he viewed modern society. The then "modern lifestyle" coupled with poor posture and poor breathing habits were the roots of ill health. His studies and habits lead him to develop his body in such a way that he modeled for anatomical charts at the age of fourteen.

In 1912

Joseph Pilates

 moved to England and was a professional boxer. He also worked at Scotland Yard training police officers. When World War I started he was interned along with other German citizens. During his internment on the Isle of Man he worked intensely on developing his system of exercises which he called "Contrology": the mind guiding the body through exercise. He taught his fellow internees his "mat work" exercises and is crediting with saving them from the influenza that swept through the camps killing thousands. His abilities were recognized and he was transferred to a war hospital where his first equipment was developed, attaching springs and pulleys to hospital beds and wheel chairs to help rehabilitate patients.

Joseph Pilates classes Romana Kryzanowska certified instructor

Marlene Reynolds with Romana Kryzanowska

Around 1925, dissatisfied with events in Germany, he decided to emigrate to the U.S. It was on his trip over that he met Clara: a nurse who would become his wife. They settled in NYC and opened a studio teaching his method. His regime of exercise built flexibility, strength and stamina. He developed an avid following of dancers, skaters and acrobats. He trained Martha Graham and George Ballanchine and it was George who would eventually introduce Romana to Joe and Clara and the method now called Pilates. She came to "Uncle Joe" with an ankle injury. The arrangement was if he couldn't correct the injury in five lessons, he would refund her money and send her on her way. Well, the problem was corrected and that became the beginning of a relationship that lasted till Joseph's death.

Joseph wrote several books on his method and what he felt was the sad state of heath in this country. He received over 20 patents for his various inventions. Joseph taught up until the time of his death in 1967 at the age of 83. Clara's death followed and at that time the carrying on of the method lay in the hands of Romana Kryzanowska. Romana inherited all the teachings, photos, films and specifications for equipment. She became known as the "keeper of the flame" for the work she has done to carry on the Original, True Pilates Method.

Romana in turn passed "the flame" to a very select group of students including Marlene Reynolds, the owner/instructor of the

Shoreline Pilates Studio

- Pilates For Life. Marlene is very honored and committed to continuing the

Traditional Pilates Method

 as created by Joseph Pilates and carried forth by Romana.

Pilates For Life, 26A Saybrook Road, Essex, CT 06426

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Call 860 -227-5790 and start on your path to a stronger body and healthier life.