“I must be right. Never an aspirin. Never injured a day in my life. The whole country, the whole world, should be doing my exercises. They’d be happier.” – Joseph Hubertus Pilates, in 1965, age 86

Joe & Clara Vintage Footage Private Collection.

Rare and Historical Content

Compiled and edited by Mary Bowen from Joe Pilates private film collection 1932-1945

“This video, outstanding in letting us know Joe and Clara, is made up of films taken of Joe and Clara themselves and clients between the years 1932-1945. Reels and reels of these vintage films were given to Mary Bowen at the opening of her larger studio YOUR OWN GYM in 1981 in Northampton, MA. Ten years later Mary studied all the reels of footage choosing out the best examples for compiling this Historical Pilates DVD on Joe, Clara, clients and friends, 1932-45. During this time period Joe was in his prime, 49-62. This video remains a Pilates historical treasure.”

History of the Video (DVD) This gift was given to Mary Bowen at the opening of Your Own Gym (Thorne’s Market, 150 Main St., Northampton MA.) by a long time personal friend of Joe and Clara Pilates, Evelyn de la Tour.

Joe and Clara had bequeathed to Evelyn reels of their private film collection taken over 13 years – 1932-45. Evelyn in turn was aging herself and bequeathed the films to Mary Bowen – 2 large boxes of old reels. These reels are the basis for the video/DVD.

The Pilates Method is a system of stretching and strengthening the whole body. “You are as young as the flexibility of your spine,” was a Joe Pilates adage. Much of the method is done on special apparatus against resistance using springs. In each exercise one’s awareness is turned on the whole body. The Pilates Method combines body and mind equally.

This 70-minute video or DVD will give you an idea of what the method is, of Joe and Clara and of the early years. A bonus is included of Ted Shawn, the famous modern dancer, exhibiting enormous strength and facility.

In the 1930’s the method had a more gymnastic look. Joe and Clara refined it over the years through one on one work. The method is continually refining as knowledge increases about the body’s biomechanics which deepens the understanding and execution of the exercises.

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