About Pilates

by | Nov 10, 2011 | Pilates | 0 comments

as described by Joseph H. Pilates in his book Return to Life

Excerpts from Pilates’ Return to Life Through Contrology by Joseph H. Pilates.
Photos © Mary Pilates, reprinted with permission from Mary Pilates, The Original Pilates Collection.

Pilates Studio of Contrology

“Contrology is complete coordination of body, mind, and spirit.”

Through Contrology you first purposefully acquire complete control of your own body and then through proper repetition of its exercises you gradually and progressively acquire that natural rhythm and coordination associated with all your subconscious activities. This true rhythm and control is observed both in domestic pets and wild animals – without known exceptions.

Contrology develops the body uniformly, corrects wrong postures, restores physical vitality, invigorates the mind, and elevates the spirit.

– Joseph H. Pilates

In childhood, with rare exceptions, we all enjoy the benefits of natural and normal physical development. However, as we mature, we find ourselves living in bodies not always complimentary to our ego. Our bodies are slumped, our shoulders are stooped, our eyes are hollow, our muscles are flabby and our vitality extremely lowered, if not vanished. This is but the natural result of not having uniformly developed all the muscles of our spine, trunk, arms, and legs in the course of pursuing our daily labors and office activities.

If you will faithfully perform your Contrology exercises regularly only four times a week for just thee months as outlined in RETURN TO LIFE, you will find your body development approaching the ideal, accompanied by renewed mental vigor and spiritual enhancement.

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. You will develop muscular power with corresponding endurance, ability to perform arduous duties, to play strenuous games, to walk, run or travel for long distances without undue body fatigue or mental strain. And this by no means is the end.

The Pilates Master - Joseph H. PilatesQuotes From the Master – Joseph H. Pilates

Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness.

Contrology begins with mind control over muscles.

Our interpretation of physical fitness is the attainment and maintenance of a uniformly developed body with a sound mind fully capable of naturally, easily, and satisfactorily performing our many and varied daily tasks with spontaneous zest and pleasure.

To achieve the highest accomplishments within the scope of our capabilities in all walks of life we must constantly strive to acquire strong, healthy bodies and develop our minds to the limit of our ability.

Physical fitness can neither be acquired by wishful thinking nor by outright purchase.

However, it can be gained through performing the daily exercise conceived for this purpose by the founder of Contrology whose unique methods accomplish this desirable result by successfully counteracting the harmful inherent conditions associated with modern civilization.

One of the major results of Contrology is gaining the mastery of your mind over the complete control of your body.

How many beginners are amazed and chagrined (even trained athletes in the public eye) to discover how few (if any) Contrology exercises they are able to execute properly! Their previous failure to exercise regularly and properly, or the method of training, has not helped them. There is unmistakable evidence, too, that the functioning of the brain has correspondingly deteriorated. The brain itself is actually a sort of natural telephone switchboard exchange incorporated in our bodies as a means of communication through the sympathetic nervous system to all our muscles. Unfortunately, pure reason plays only a minor part in the lives of most of us. In practically every instance the daily acts we perform are governed by what we THINK we see, hear, or tough, without stopping first to analyze or think of the possible results of our actions, good or bad. As the result of habit or reflex action, we wink, dodge, and operate machines more or less automatically.

Joseph Pilates and Clara


When brain cells are developed, the mind too is developed. Teachers start with sense organs.

By re-awakening thousands and thousands of otherwise ordinarily dormant muscles cells, Contrology correspondingly re-awakens thousands and thousands of dormant brain cells, thus activation new areas and stimulating further the functioning of the mind. No wonder then that so many persons express such great surprise following their initial experience with Contrology exercises caused by their realization of the resulting sensation of “uplift.” For the first time in many years their minds have been truly awakened.

Continued use of Contrology steadily increases the normal and natural supply of pure rich blood to flow to and circulate throughout the brain with corresponding stimulation to new brain areas previously dormant. More significantly, it actually develops more brain cells.

G. Stanley Hall, the great American psychologist, observed “The culture of muscles is brain-building.”

Get insights and wisdom from the Pilates master—Get your own copy of Return to Life by Joseph Pilates today!
Aliesa George: Over the past three decades, Aliesa George has helped assist people with their personal health journeys by sharing, teaching, and developing Pilates, Foot Fitness, and other Mind-Body programs.


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