What is Pilates

The development of Pilates

The Pilates method has gradually evolved and integrated current biomechanical thinking. However, the roots of the technique are steeped in the philosophy and movement patterns designed by Joseph Pilates over 70 years ago. Today his core method is still taught, as well as an evolved form by teachers of Body Control Association. The Body Control Pilates Method has evolved from the work of Joseph Pilates. Body Control have created a repertoire of exercises that teach the movement skills needed to gain maximum benefit from Pilates.

Body Control Pilates

The first Body Control Pilates company was founded in London in 1995 and the first matwork teacher training course was held in South Kensington in 1996, shortly before the publication of the ground-breaking book ‘Body Control The Pilates Way’ (Lynne Robinson and Gordon Thomson, Pan Macmillan). This was the world’s first curriculum-based course for prospective Pilates teachers. Since that time, almost 1,000 students have chosen Body Control Pilates as their training provider, many of them having enrolled for one of the increasing number of courses held in conjunction with our training partners outside the UK.

The Body Control Pilates Association (BCPA) is Europe's foremost professional Pilates organisation, being the membership body for qualified Body Control Pilates teachers. It was established in February 1997 and currently has over a thousand teaching members in the UK and abroad. It is a non-profit making body governed by a Council. BCPA is a ‘not for profit’ organisation that exists to safeguard the standards and quality of Body Control Pilates teaching, as well as to provide a unique support network for the Body Control Pilates teachers worldwide.

The work of BCPA teachers is supplemented by a wide range of books (Lynne Robinson and co-authors) and DVDs (Lynne Robinson) that are available internationally, total sales of which are approaching 4 million units.

Body Control Pilates exercises have been developed for both mat and machine work. They are adapted from the ‘classical’ exercises developed by Joseph Pilates. Many of these classical exercises are often not suitable for the average person and the average body. In order for someone to work safely and effectively and to gain the full benefits of Pilates, these classical exercises should be broken down to establish good movement skills thus building the best possible foundation upon which to progress towards the classical, more advanced work. This is the essence of the Body Control Pilates Method.

Body Control Pilates is remarkably effective - and medically-approved. It is of an holistic nature, being based upon a well-constructed philosophical foundation.

Central to the Method is 'awareness of your own body' and each and every exercise is built around its eight basic principles:

  • relaxation
  • co-ordination
  • alignment
  • stamina
  • concentration
  • centring
  • breathing
  • flowing movement

‘Core stability' is achieved by working on the deep architectural structure of the body and then maintained, through increasingly complex movement sequences. Problem-areas can be targeted by an exercise, but always in relation to the rest of the body. Body awareness is heightened by bringing together mind and body - Body Control Pilates teaches you to be in control of your body, allowing you to handle stress more effectively and achieve relaxation more easily.

Pilates works for everyone!

The Body Control Pilates Method can work for everyone, regardless of fitness level! Exercises can be mat or machine based, but mat-work exercises have a great attraction in that they need no special equipment, and are particularly safe for those with back problems (and don't forget that 95% of the UK population has, or has had, backache). Its consistent success rate in solving such problems has brought it to the attention of osteopaths, chiropractors, physiotherapists and homeopathic doctors. In fact, many osteopaths and physiotherapists are now setting up Pilates studios as part of their practices.