Pilates and Alexander: The Men, Their Discoveries, and Their Legacies


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Joseph H. Pilates
Joseph H. Pilates
1880 - 1967

F. Matthias Alexander
F. Matthias Alexander

Anyone familiar with the original writings of Joseph Pilates* and F. Matthias Alexander* will be struck by the parallels between their analyses of why the physical functioning of most adults has become compromised. Both men began their investigations as a result of serious personal challenges. Both men were in part inspired by their keen observations of the way animals moved. Both placed a tremendous emphasis on movement quality and both were aware of the close link between mind and body. Both developed specific systems designed to help others improve their physical functioning. Both men lived into their mid-eighties and were actively teaching their methods until shortly before their deaths.

The parallels go on and on. Of course there are some significant differences. Perhaps the most important is this: Pilates developed a series of very specific exercises designed to correct posture and movement limitations while Alexander emphasized learning how to change one's thinking in order to re-direct posture and movement patterns.

It is the purpose of this site to bring together information about these two great pioneers, their discoveries and their methods of instruction. I strongly believe this can lead to a better understanding of both men's' contributions in the field of human movement and to ways in which their discoveries and methods can be used to complement one another.

My name is Robert Rickover and I have been a teacher of the Alexander Technique for over twenty-five years. More recently I have studied the Pilates Method and that study has inspired me to create this site. If you have had experience with these two methods, I urge you to consider contributing to this site. Articles, link suggestions and any other help you can think of are most welcome. You can reach me from this contact page.

* Pilates' and Alexander's books can be found at the books link to the left.

This site is a service of: Alexander Technique Nebraska and Toronto and Life Bridge Coaching

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This site is a service of Alexander Technique Nebraska and Toronto