Pilates (pronounced pur-lart-eez) is actually the name of a wonderful German fellow who founded this movement philosophy.
This is a lovely little animation to introduce you to him.
‘Joseph H. Pilates was born December 9, 1883 in Mönchengladbach, Germany. His Greek father, Heinrich Friedrich Pilates, was a metal worker and enthusiastic gymnast, and his German mother was a housewife.
He was a sickly child and suffered from asthma, rickets, and rheumatic fever, and he dedicated his entire life to improving his physical strength. He was introduced by his father to gymnastics and body-building, and to martial arts like jiu jitsu and boxing. By the age of 14, he was fit enough to pose for anatomical charts. Joseph came to believe that the “modern” life-style, bad posture, and inefficient breathing lay at the roots of poor health. He ultimately devised a series of exercises and training-techniques and engineered all the equipment, specifications, and tuning required to teach his methods properly.‘