Pilates and the balance of body, mind, and spirit
‘No matter who we are or what shape we are in, we feel how Pilates enhances the everyday activities of our lives - whether it’s just bending over to pick up the newspaper or running a 26-mile marathon. And by becoming ingrained in our thought process it can move beyond the physical realm - essentially teaching us to effectively manage our entire being while providing a positive connection to our sense of self.
‘Now that’s a life worth living.’ … from Balanced Body www.pilates.com
Infinity Pilates is whole-hearted in its embrace of the principles, beliefs and practices that characterise the movement its founder, Joseph Pilates, gave his life to. Loyal to his thinking and his methods, we have built our own practice around five pillars of our own:
Infinity Pilates and the great tradition
No philosophy of Infinity Pilates is complete without a fundamental understanding of the man behind the movement.
Joseph Pilates, born in Germany in 1883, was no stranger to ill-health and physical compromise. He suffered early from asthma, rheumatic fever and other childhood afflictions, and to have been bullied as a result.
His issues in childhood, however, and the influence of a naturopathic mother and a gymnastic father, made him all the more determined to transform himself. His observations of human movement and of animals and structures in the natural world, formed the early basis of his later teachings.
Through assiduous work, he became a gymnast, bodybuilder, and boxer. Legend has it that, given an old anatomy book as a teenager, he memorised its contents using his own body as a living map.
Experiments on and for wounded troops
Moving to England to work, he was interned during the First World War, but taught his fellow prisoners wrestling and self-defence. In a second internment camp, he volunteered for hospital duties.
He was allowed to develop his rudimentary system of exercise and stretching apparatus from the frames and springs of the beds to which the wounded troops were confined. He called it Contrology.
One of these early experiments produced the trapezium (trap) table, known today as the Cadillac.
Pilates sets up in the US
Returning home, he taught military police self-defence and physical training, and was invited to carry out similar instruction with the new Germany Army. He declined on political grounds and chose instead to move to the United States.
Having met and married fellow boat passenger and German immigrant, Clara, they went to New York and took over a boxing gym. The gym shared a building with a number of dance studios. There began Pilates’ life-long long association with strength and recovery therapies for people from every class and walk of life.
Infinity and the Pilates philosophy today
Joseph Pilates’ knowledge of anatomy and his ability to conceive of and connect physical, mental, and spiritual performance remain at the very core of the discipline, and Infinity Pilates today.
Then, and even more now, the Pilates philosophy invokes control, attentiveness, and integration of body, mind and spirit in practice. At its very foundation, the Pilates philosophy insists that an exercise session is not meant to tire participants but to energise, clarify, and inspire well-being in both participant and instructor.
Today, decades of research and empirical evidence endorse every one of his famous 34 Contrology methods.
Your partnership in knowledge and need
Far from a teacher-student relationship, Infinity works on the understanding of a partnership between knowledge and need, listening and learning, and observation and instruction.
Our clients tell us we have an ability to read and articulate the language of their bodies. When we translate it back through the science of movement therapy and the articulation of anatomical and emotional connectedness, they celebrate the body-mind-spirit conjunction, with the physical symptoms relegated to their rightful place in the equation.
Infinity candidates come to us less to have physical problems fixed, than to have possibilities explored and journeys shared. The destination remains a moving cross on a map of constant improvement.
What separates Infinity from other Pilates practitioners?
How Infinity Pilates applies and amplifies that original philosophy is what separates us from most other studios. We attract participants who know-by recommendation and word of mouth alone-that our philosophy is built on first rate leadership and instruction. These in turn are founded on the bedrock of proven theory and practical application.
Kerrie Murphy is Infinity Pilates Director and Principal Teacher. She sees her 25 years in dance, movement study, and Pilates theory, learning, teaching, and sharing, as the first steps in her own development, as do her fellow instructors view theirs. Infinity clients agree.