Joseph H. Pilates was born in Mönchengladbach in Germany, in 1880. His father, a prize-winning gymnast, had Greek origins; his German mother worked as a naturopath. The family originally spelled their surname in the Greek manner as “Pilatu” but changed to using “Pilates”. This caused Joseph Pilates much grief because, as a child, older boys taunted him calling him “Pontius Pilate, killer of Christ”. A sickly child who suffered from asthma, rickets and rheumatic fever, he dedicated his entire life to becoming physically stronger. Joe began studying body-building,yoga and gymnastics, and by the age of 14 was fit enough to pose for anatomical charts. He came to believe that the “modern” life-style, bad posture, and inefficient breathing lay at the roots of poor health. He ultimately devised a series of exercises and training-techniques and engineered all the equipment, specifications and tuning required to teach his methods properly.