Joseph Pilates, the namesake of the Pilates Method, is 56 in this video, showing off his amazing wunda chair. I can practically hear him saying “hello, madam, let me show you the amazing things you can do with this chair.”  Years ago, Romana Kryzanowska told me that Joe invented this piece for the “wunda circus family,” to help them stay strong for their acrobatics.  It’s a rockin’ piece of equipment, one of my favorites.

Joe demo'ing on a basic wunda chair.

Joe demo’ing on a basic wunda chair.

Joe used several monikers for his system of training the body — Contrology and “Pilates Universal Method” are seen in many of his advertising pieces.  I call the method that I teach “Ageless Pilates” — it’s a nod to the master, yet acknowledges that I don’t teach exactly the same way that he did.  (Romana Kryzanowska, who certified me, teaches the method just as Joe did — she was a great starting point for my journey.) Joe was inventing new pieces of equipment and new exercises right up until his later years — he passed away in 1967 at age 87 — and I’m hoping to continue to learn more and create more right up to my final years.

In the Ageless Pilates studio, we have a classic wunda chair, but it doesn’t have the cool leather upholstery seen in this clip! It was the first major piece of Pilates equipment that I purchased, more than 15 years ago. Its moved with me 10+ times, takes up very little space and provides a kick-butt, full-body workout. Just one more piece of evidence that Joe was a genius with his inventions.

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