Pilates is a mind/body exercise that utilizes breath, body awareness, and control to activate and strengthen the deep stabilizing muscles as well lengthen and tone the whole body. At its foundation is the goal of restoring the natural curves of the spine while strengthening the entire core.

Joseph Pilates developed the exercise system we call Pilates under the name of Contrology. As a child born in Germany in 1883 he suffered from asthma, rickets, and rheumatic fever. In order to overcome these physical challenges Joe studied gymnastics, body building, martial arts, yoga, and the Greek ideal of balanced mind, body, and spirit. Eventually he developed his own exercise system. After moving to England, Joe was interred during World War I. During his internment, he helped rehabilitate wounded soldiers using his Contrology methods and refining them even more by making spring-based resistance equipment out of hospital beds. Before World War II, Joe moved to New York and began teaching Contrology with his wife Clara.

STOTT PILATES is a contemporary approach to the original exercise method pioneered by the late Joseph Pilates. Co-founders Moira and Lindsay G.Merrithew, along with a team of physical therapists, sports medicine and fitness professionals, have spent more than two decades refining the STOTT PILATES method of exercise and equipment. This resulted in the inclusion of modern principles of exercise science and spinal rehabilitation, making it one of the safest and most effective methods available. This clear and detailed approach forms the basis for STOTT PILATES training and certification programs. It’s used by rehab and prenatal clients, athletes, celebrities and everyone in between.

Pilates Equipment:





Small equipment including: barrels, foam rollers, stability balls, mini balls, and bosu.

Five Basic Principles:

At Livingston Pilates we use the STOTT Five Basic Principles as the foundation of our Pilates practice. We believe incorporating these principles into our work-outs facilitates a safe class for our clients while promoting proper bio-mechanics, a grace and economy of movement, and returning their spine to neutral.

The five principles are:

  • Breath: 3D breathing activating pelvic floor muscles, transversus abdominis, oblique abdominals, and multifidus.
  • Pelvic Placement: Conscious awareness of a neutral or imprinted pelvis, using a neutral pelvis to also achieve a neutral spine.
  • Rib Cage Placement: Activating the abdominals to maintain correct position of ribcage to allow for either a neutral, extended or flexed thoracic spine.
  • Scapular Mobility and Stability: Fluid movement of shoulder blades enabling all six types of scapular movement and stabilizing the scapulae during both spinal movement and arm movement.
  • Cervical Spine and Head Placement: Continuation of the thoracic spine so the head balances directly over the shoulders.