Realign Your Mind and Body with Pilates By Ali Othman FEATURES WWW.IFANCA.ORG 28 With names like “the Spine Twist,” “the Saw,” and “the Jack Knife,” Pilates may sound more like a method of medieval torture than an exercise system designed to improve body awareness, muscle function, flexibility, and posture. As a German national in Britain, Joseph Pilates was sent to an internment camp during World War I. It is here that he developed his fitness techniques as he worked to rehabilitate his injured fellow internees. Towards the end of the war, he was freed from the camp and served in a hospital with patients who had lower body injuries. During this period of his life, Pilates studied human anatomy which helped to refine his skills as both a rehabilitator and fitness trainer. After the war he moved to New York and opened a successful gymwhere he and his wife developed the system known as Contrology. Contrology would develop over the life of Joseph Pilates, and after his death began to be called the Pilates Method (Pilates Foundation, The History of Pilates, https://www.pilatesfoundation. com/pilates/the-history-of-pilates/). The Pilates Method employs movements which originate from six core principles. When combined, they encourage the synergistic use of the mind, body, and spirit to aid in the development of a healthier overall existence. The concept is meant to reach into the performer attempting to encourage a synergy between brain and body. Fear not though, these six principles blend together seamlessly, making Pilates an ideal addition to any exercise routine for those seeking a healthy and balanced body. For those not into the Pilates system, the ideology of the six principles can be a healthy supplement to any form of exercise or the activities of daily living. To better understand the system, we must look into the six principles.