The Story


Brian Hull
Pilates Instructor, Personal Trainer, Kinesiologist, Principal      

    Like the ocean..., my interest in movement and physicality has ebbed and flowed over the years.  My earliest memories of having an active interest in my own body sensations and exercise started in late elementary/early junior high with basic calisthenics.  I developed my own routine of push-ups, sit-ups and stretching.  This continued through high school with the addition of daily running.  Through my early 20s, while at Cornell University, I took a break from my own routine to focus on my studies.  I studied both the "hard" sciences of nutrition and physiology, and "soft" sciences of psychology, human development and sociology.  These gave me a great foundation for working in fitness and motivation.  After college, I moved to NYC where, for a few years, I flowed away from movement and my mind/body connection to concentrate on being young and invincible in the party/bar/club scene in NYC.  Feeling unfulfilled in my bartending gig, the Universe returned me to movement through the suggestion of a friend and coworker who said "You'd probably make a great personal trainer."  To which I replied, "but I can't yell at anyone..." He said, "You don't have to."  
    He introduced me to David Barton Where amonst some really great trainers, I began, in earnest, my study of the human body and mechanics. I got myself a copy of The Anatomy Coloring Book and signed up for a certification with The National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)  The concept of anatomical neutral fascinated me; on my daily commute (to my several jobs), I would practice creating balancing workouts for the other passengers on the train.  I took a position at Crunch Fitness where, within the corporate structure, I completed a certification on assisted stretching.  This further solidified my understanding of anatomical neutral.  While at Crunch, I took my first Pilates Mat class with another friend and trainer.  I immediately mentally and energetically connected to the practice and was hooked!  I signed up for a my first Pilates Mat certification at the Kane School which has a strong emphasis on the details of the biological mechanics of movement. I have since completed my Reformer and Apparatus certification through Stott Pilates based in Toronto.
My current interests include- Tai chi, Alexander Technique, Acro yoga, and staff spinning.

Joseph Pilates
Inventor and Founder

    A long, long time ago (born 1883), Joseph Pilates was a sickly youth in Germany.  As a young person, he went to the doctor, where (& when) the diagnosis was that he would be a sickly person until he would die an early death; maybe in his early 20's.  He said, "I'm not OK with that," and developed his own health and self improvement routine.  This included calisthenics, traditional Greco/Roman techniques (lifting weights) and Eastern disciplines (Yoga, martial arts).  He healed himself and ultimately lived a relatively healthy life through 83 years.  
    In his early career, he was involved in health and fitness as a boxer, trainer and gymnast.  He moved to England where he continued the same.  The during WWI he was placed in a detainment camp (like we in the US did to the Japanese during WWII).  He hadn't done anything wrong, he was  german national living in Germany.  He was bored and noticed that the other prisoners were bored, and wasting from not movement.  he also noticed that the cats in the yard- even if they were hungry and skinny, had lithe spines and healthy movement.  It was in prison that he started to form his concept of health that later became Pilates; a strong and healthy spine makes for a strong and healthy body.  He then began training and physical therapy on the other prisoners.  If the Pilates Reformer looks like something that was invented in a prison yard, it's because it was!
    After the war, and the prisoner release, Joseph Pilates returned to Germany.  The hospitality of the English had worn thin.  The Germans said "You're good with physical fitness, will you help us train the national army?"  ...He was not interested...  So he left for the United States- on the boat ride? early in NYC? he met his wife Clara.  She was a dancer, and together with one of their primary students, Romana Kryzanowska, they developed the classical Pilates routines.  For decades, Pilates remained primarily within the dance community.  Then, introduced to America and the world, through popular culture ("Sex and the City") and pop icon Madonna, Pilates made it into the public awareness and into gyms, videos, etc.  Now, over 100 years later, Pilates is being used as a method of physical therapy.  

    I tell this long historical story to let you, the student, know that I am more along the lineage of Joseph Pilates-  I am a healer, yogi and believer in developing an individual practice.  I know the classical (read, dance/choreography) routines, and how to teach them, but not all bodies are the same, and not all practices are for everyone.  I like to help you find the practice and movements that work for you.


        
Recenter Pilates is a full service fitness studio and Pilates training center in downtown Albany, NY. 

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