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Pilates – Change Through Movement

If you don’t have your health, what have you got?

Joseph Pilates called physical fitness “the first requisite of happiness,” and anyone who has faced illness or injury can attest to the truth of his words.

The man who developed the exercise regimen loved and practiced by countless enthusiasts around the globe was a visionary – and also a man who worked with what he had.

Many who are familiar with his name may not know the humble origins of Pilates. Joseph was a German performer and boxer who developed his ‘whole body health’ exercise system 100 years ago while being held in internment camps during WWI. His original exercises blended breathing with resistance training on improvised equipment like mattress bedsprings and other odds and ends. Those became prototypes of what’s still in use today: bands, support blocks, mats and the modern day Pilates reformer.

“Change happens through movement, and movement heals.”-Joseph Pilates

Joseph moved to the US in 1926 and married Clara Zeuner, who later built on his exercise work to help ill and injured clients, which expanded the scope of Pilates further.

Joseph and Clara might be surprised that their methods are now practiced by so many that Pilates is a global industry. Pilates’ popularity spread in the 1960s, when professional dancers in New York realized the exercise benefits of its synchronized movements and breathing. The fact that these dancers could rehabilitate their injuries, build long lean muscles and get back on the stage stronger than ever before was a dream come true. From there it spread to fitness fans, amateur and professional athletes, and physical rehabilitation patients.

International Pilates Day falls on the first Saturday in May each year (May 5th in 2018). To mark the occasion, Balance is celebrating by offering several

free Pilates classes throughout the month.

Just as Joseph and Clara’s story is unique, those who teach and build their lives and businesses around it also have a multitude of personal stories reflecting individual experiences.

Kellie Lynch’s path to Pilates is also the story of how Balance Studio was born.

When Kellie was in her late 30s, working full-time in sales and parenting young daughters, she had heard of Pilates but knew very little about it. But she had a regular gym habit in place, and when a guest instructor offered a workshop, she tried it, and was blow away at the (pregnant) instructor’s flexibility and graceful agility. Her existing gym program had been leaving her stiff and sore, and she quickly realized that through Pilates she could follow a different and more healthful path to strengthening and toning that could become a lifelong practice.

She dove in, adored it, and within a couple of years got certified and began teaching, first at a local gym in Cohasset, then later in her own home studio when friends’ hectic schedules required. Her in home classes grew so popular and beloved she recognized the need for professional studio space, and Balance was born.

Kellie Lynch Balance Studio

Now, more than 15 years after discovering it, Kellie is still at it, two to three times a week. She loves educating clients about what Pilates can do forimproving joint strength, helping keep people’s bodies safe during a multitude of other activities, and helping allow people to stay active and keep doing what they enjoy most for long, happy years into the future.

“You do Pilates so you can do everything else!” Kellie says.

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