The Pilates Method is a series of mat or equipment based exercises inspired by calisthenics, yoga and ballet. Pilates improves flexibility, strength, balance and body awareness. After being introduced into the United States in the 1920s by Joseph Pilates, it has been adapted to suit people in the general community. Pilates caters to everyone, from beginner to advanced. You can perform exercises using your own body weight (mat based), or with the aid of various pieces of equipment (equipment-based). Each exercise is performed with attention to the Five Basic Principles of STOTT PILATES (R) method.