Bodyhood© Pilates' Story

When in 1990 we opened the first Pilates Studio in Central Europe... 'strange looking machines', they would say. Today, look around you! Pilates is everywhere... the pioneering work back then, of being the first, paid off." CSRM

Created to Develop a Holistic Approach

The Bodyhood Pilates studio was founded in 1990 to satisfy today's need for a mind that is flexible, a body that is strong and a spirit that is free. Its approach developed through over 25 years of Charleston Samu Rii Marquis' steadfast explorations, inquiries and observations of the pilates method; supported by his reflexive and insightful teachings, learnings, understandings and practices. He so successfully developed a pilates training that has the intelligence and insight to address today's essential need - a unity of body, mind and spirit. Since his concept is a holistic one, this aim should also be reflected in the name of his studio. So, his desire was to find a name that is self-explanatory, brief and easy to remember. Not an easy task! But while he was experimenting with new types of breathing techniques, all of a sudden the name Bodyhood arose in his mind.

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Treating the Root of the Problem

Bodyhood Pilates was not only the first pilates studio in Austria, it was also the first specialized pilates studio addressing both, the outer and the inner body-problems, the symptoms as well as the causes.
Here is an example of these inner and outer body-problems: pelvic floor and lower back problems being the symptom, and neuro-muscular movement imbalances and psycho-physical blockages being the cause. Treating the sympton will give you a temporary relief, but treating both will give you long-term improvement.

Power to expand your mind
Freedom to express your body
Silence to rest your thoughts
to be in peace with what you see (vision)
what you feel (passion) and what you think (will).

Afca Dawa

Joseph Pilates' Story


Pilates' Drive to Transcend

Joseph Hubertus Pilates was born in Düsseldorf/Germany in 1880 at a time when life was not easy, especially if one was not as well-developed as Pilates was when he was a child. He was suffering from asthma, rickets and rheumatic fever. Nevertheless, the disadvantages Pilates had in his early years of life did not discourage him but provided him with will and a burning desire to overcome his physical weaknesses. Long before Pilates could even ride a bicycle, he yearned for that strong healthy body, which he did not have; that body that would make him stand up to those kids, who often ridiculed his fragility.

Combining Exercises From East To West

His determination ignited him to go deeper into himself to discover the first holistic fitness system that combined eastern and western philosophies of movement. Originally called Contrology, but today known as the Pilates Method. A series of more than 500 exercises to strengthen and elongate muscles without adding bulk. Pilates himself defined fitness as

the 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.

He studied yoga, Zen meditation, and Greek and Roman exercise regiments. By the time, he was 14 years old, this sickly child had become strong and agile enough to become an accomplished diver, gymnast and skier. His favorite motto was: “A sound body with a sound mind.”

Pilates' Holistic Way Through Prison

In 1912 Pilates left Germany to go to England to work as a boxer and trapeze artist; he also instructed the detectives at Scotland Yard in the art of self-defense. During World War I, Pilates, being a German national, was imprisoned in Lancaster. While in prison, he taught his exercise system to his inmates with great success. This prompted the authorities to send him to the Ilse of Man to work with patients immobilized by war injuries.

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Pilates' method is succeeding

In 1926 Pilates opened his first studio in New York. He developed a specialized training programme for the mat, and constructed and built special training machines, e.g. the Universal Reformer, Barrell, Wunda Chair and Cadillac. Soon his studio became a hot spot for many well-known actors and dancers; among them George Ballanchine, Hanya Holm, Martha Graham, Ron Fletcher and Ted Shawn. In 1945 he published his book Return to Life Through Contrology, in which he describes his principles and exercises. Today the Pilates method constitutes one of the most popular training methods in the world.

My work is 50 years ahead of its time." Joseph H. Pilates