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Pilates' Return to Life Through Contrology Paperback – Dec 31 1998

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Paperback, Dec 31 1998
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 93 pages
  • Publisher: Presentation Dynamics; 1 edition (Dec 31 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0961493798
  • ISBN-13: 978-0961493790
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 0.6 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 91 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #322,616 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From the Back Cover

This book represents the first major publication in 1945 by Joseph H. Pilates and William J. Miller detailing the exercises, poses, and instructions fundamental to the matwork developed by Joseph and Clara Pilates. Based on his concepts of a balanced Body and Mind, drawn from the approach espoused by the early Greeks, these are the exercises that currently sustain a worldwide revolution in fitness strategies and exercise techniques.

Joseph Pilates has been nothing short of revolutionary in his impact on the world of fitness and exercise. You will learn in this book the original 34 exercises that he taught to his students, many of whom have become exercise gurus in their own right. These carefully designed exercises constitute the results of decades of scientific study, experimentation and research into the variety of physical ills that upset the balance of body and mind.

Pilates makes extraordinary claims about the benefits of his defined science of "Contrology". The exercises shown in this book constitute the breadth of his original definition of Contrology, and are basic to the growing army of worldwide trainers whose teachings rely on the instructions contained in this book. Living testimony to the validity of his own teachings, the photographs of this book are of Joseph Pilates himself at age sixty!

In this book, you will learn the exercises that Joseph Pilates recommended to accompany the basic advice (offered separately in his book, Your Health - see below) regarding posture, body mechanics, correct breathing, spinal flexibility, and physical education. It is fascinating to study these exercises and to discover the origins of what is being taught by fitness enthusiasts, health educators, and exercise trainers around the world.

About the Author

At the beginning of the First World War, Joseph Pilates was imprisoned in England along with many Germans who happened to be living at the time in and around Lancaster, England. He was a German national who had been boxing and performing in England prior to 1914. While living in the Camp, he taught other residents the series of exercises that he had developed for personal use over the preceding decades both in Germany and in England. His own exercise sets drew strongly from his studies of yoga and Zen, as well as ancient Roman and Greek exercise regimens.

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Deb Nam-Krane on June 3 2004
Format: Paperback
This is the original Pilates (or Contrology) "manual". In succint (if not always fluid) text, Joseph Pilates outlines the intentions of the legendary exercise system he designed as well as how each exercise should be performed.
This is a simple, short manual. It's surprising that a system that has ended up being shrouded in so many mysteries and rules, particularly by those who are in his direct "lineage", started out relatively humbly. Many, many Pilates instructors will tell you that if you can't take a class in Pilates (and usually in an expensive studio), you're probably doing it wrong (and then maybe it's not worth doing). Also, many instructors have argued that most people aren't ready to do the matwork and that they should almost always begin with sessions on the equipment (again, under the watchful and expensive eye of an instructor). Pilates, however, writes that his system should help you "Return to Life" at a minimum of cost and time. The tone of his writing is inclusive- his system should be readily available to everyone. While he does insist that the instructions he sets out should be followed and that one shouldn't move on until all previous exercises are mastered, I'm not sure that the man who wrote this book in 1945 would approve of the elitist tone that some of his modern-day disciples have adopted.
It's interesting to note some of the exercises that are not included in the book. For example, the five-part Stomach Series is one of the most famous sequences in the modern Pilates matwork. Here, however, Pilates only includes the first two exercises (the One Leg Stretch and the Double Leg Stretch). Also, the matwork system is also well-known for the Side Kick Series.
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By Kerry Dupuis on Jan. 31 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For anyone interested in PIlates, this is where it comes from...the genius of Joseph Pilates. Whether you do traditional, contemporary Pilates or a combination of both, invaluable.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 22 2004
Format: Paperback
Pilates work differs little from Delsarte theory and its decomposition exercises. The writings of Joseph Pilates is stunningly similar to the late 19th and early 20th century works of such physical culture luminaries as Bess Mensendieck, Alice Bloch, Genevieve Stebbins, Professor Attila (the trainer of Sandow and Klein) the coursework of Henry Titus, and many more examples could be found in works by Charles MacMahon, Bernarr MacFadden, Charles Atlas and Tilney.
While it is good that this information is out there, readers should be aware that Pilates is not revolutionary in any way. Time and motion photographic studies of the human body date to the 1880's and Taylor's principles of optimal body movement were evident in early 20th century physical culture exercise training found all over the Western world.
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By Amazon Customer on Oct. 31 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very good
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By yoga pixie on Feb. 18 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
J. Pilates is a nutcase. Its worth reading the book just for shock value, assuming of course you aren't already convinced he was some sort of perfect being, and have base knowledge of anatomy and physiology. This guy is completely crackers.
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