Joseph Pilates was the highly-influential founder of the popular Pilates workout movement. Famous Joseph Pilates quotes continue to inspire and motivate everyone from professional athletes to high-performance entrepreneurs, and they will inspire you, too. This is all so important because physical fitness gives you the energy to be more productive and creative in all areas of your life.
Quick story: During the early days of our marriage, my wife and I decided to take a Pilates class together at the YMCA. I walked into the first class underestimating the difficulty of the discipline. I was humbled for sure. Throughout the process, I gained a lot of respect for the physical art form known as Pilates and its founder, Joseph Pilates.
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Who is Joseph Pilates?
Joseph Pilates was one of the most influential fitness gurus in the world. He believed that the coordination of the body and mind was the key to health and wellbeing in all areas of life. As a young child in Germany, Pilates was enamored by the Greek idea of perfection in the human form. This idea embodied the balance of body mind and spirit. He carried his love of understanding human anatomy and pushing it to the limits into his life travels and philosophy.
From 1926 to 1966, Joseph and his partner, Clara taught fitness and conditioning to professional dancers. During this time, he was in the company of many well-known dancers and choreographers, as well as other socialites, doctors, and people who wanted to be more fit. His teaching and fitness methods were straightforward and used a “boot camp” style of training. His training philosophy would eventually become what we know today as “Pilates.” New science in the area of health and fitness has transformed Pilates workouts through the years, but they continue to retain the original core style that was developed by Joseph Pilates.
21 Best Joseph Pilates Quotes
Aside from the no-nonsense style of training, Joseph Pilates also originated some of the most famous Pilates instructor quotes that have become the foundation of Pilates philosophy. Here are 21 of the most famous Joseph Pilates quotes from his life work. We still find his words inspiring today.
1. “If your spine is inflexibly stiff at 30, you are old. IF it is completely flexible at 60, you are young.”
This quote is supported by recent research into epigenetics that suggests that the old ideas about aging and the decline of the physical body are no longer true. That is one of the reasons why Pilates and other strengthening exercises are so important as we grow older.
2. “Physical fitness can neither be achieved by wishful thinking nor outright purchase.”
Nothing can replace practice and hard work in any area of life. Sitting on the couch thinking about it will not get the job done.
3. “Change happens through movement and movement heals.”
Movement releases endorphins that have a healing effect on the body and mood. Transformation begins with movement, and working the body is an essential part of any self-improvement program.
4. “The mind, when housed within a healthful body, possesses a glorious sense of power.”
This quote is not only about physical power. As the body becomes stronger, old limits of the mind are broken, barriers are crushed, and the person begins to imagine a new set of dreams that they never thought were possible before.
5. “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.”
The connection between a healthy immune system and freedom from disease is an established fact. Exercise plays a key role in helping to alleviate many chronic conditions that now plague millions of people.
6. “Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness.”
Mental health professionals universally recommend exercise as a helpful practice for people who are suffering from depression and anxiety. The biochemistry alone gives you a boost from even a small amount of movement every day.
7. “Not only is health a normal condition, but it is our duty not only to attain it but to maintain it.”
Health is the natural state of being in mind, body, and spirit. Maintaining your health in all areas will help you muster the drive and ambition to go after the dreams and goals that are important to you.
8. “Before any real benefit can be derived from physical exercises, one must first learn how to breathe properly. Our very life depends on it.”
Every quality fitness program begins with how to breathe properly. So much of our time is spent paying no attention to our breathing, but we now know that mindfulness to this important function has some remarkable effects on our health and wellbeing.
9. “It’s the mind itself which shapes the body.”
Attitude is everything, and it is the mind that shapes the body. Every action that we take in life begins with a thought or idea, and action always follows thought, which leads to results.
Check out this top-rated Pilates ring for toning thighs, abs and legs!
10. “Patience and persistence are vital qualities in the ultimate successful accomplishment of any worthwhile endeavor.”
Taking small steps consistently can achieve more than big dreams with no action. If the goal seems too big, break it down into small steps that you can do, and do them every day.
11. “Through the Pilates Method of Body Conditioning, this unique trinity of a balanced body, mind, and spirit can ever be attained. Self-confidence follows.”
It is not just about physical appearance but about the connection between physical fitness, spiritual, and mental health. There is something about achieving something that you never thought you could do in the past that makes you feel like you can achieve anything that you put your mind to.
12. “Everyone is the architect of their own happiness.”
This quote reminds us that happiness is not something that we pursue, and it is not something that comes from the outside. Happiness is about what we create by the actions that we take every day.
13. “A few well-designed movements, properly performed in a balanced sequence, are worth hours of doing sloppy calisthenics or forced contortion.”
Proper body alignment is the foundation of any fitness program or physical activity that you begin. It is not only about avoiding injury, but it is about achieving maximum results.
14. “Civilisation impairs physical fitness.”
Our sedentary lifestyle, poor diet, and massive consumption of unhealthy media have been blamed for many chronic, preventable diseases. This is perhaps truer today than in Joseph Pilate’s time.
15. “You will feel better in ten sessions, look better in twenty sessions, and have a completely new body in thirty sessions.”
This quote reminds us that the change begins from the inside out and not the other way around. The physical changes are secondary to the changes that happen on the inside.
16. “Every moment of our life can be the beginning of great things.”
The most beautiful thing about this life is that every day we have the opportunity to make better decisions than we did in the past (no matter how dire our situation). These new, better decisions are the foundation for new behaviors and habits that will lead us to better results.
17. “Breathing is the first act of life, and the last.”
Mindful breathing is a tool that we have to control the body and our emotional state, making it an essential skill for success. Slowing your breathing can calm us down, just as rapid breathing can get us fired up and ready to go for our goals.
18. “It is better to be tired from physical exertion than to be fatigued by the ‘poisons’ generated by nervousness while lying awake.”
The effects of stress on the body are well-known, as are the effects of sleep deprivation that is caused by stress. Physical exercise both relieves stress and helps our body to restore and replenish through a good night’s sleep.
19. “The Pilates Method of Body Conditioning is gaining the mastery of your mind over the complete control of your body.”
Controlling your body is just the beginning, and this concept branches out into everything that you do and everything that you want to achieve. This mastery of body and mind is essential for success.
20. “We retire too early and we die too young, our prime of life should be in the 70s, and old age should not come until we are almost 100.”
This is an attitude that is echoed by fitness and health experts all over the world. We know that keeping our bodies fit and healthy means that our golden years truly can be our best years.
21. “By all means never fail to get all the sunshine and fresh air you can.”
This final quote reminds us to keep everything in balance and about the healthy benefits of sunshine and being in nature. We need to stop and enjoy the blessings in our life every single day!
Joseph Pilates quotes have become part of the foundation of motivational speech in the health and fitness communities. You will hear the reflections of his wisdom in almost every fitness and motivational speaker today. If you can live by these quotes, then you will find that you can become a powerhouse when it comes to your career, relationships, and all other aspects of your life. You will be able to achieve things that you never imagined when you begin focusing on getting back to the basics of the most important connection, which is the coordination of body and mind.