Pilates Method is named for Joseph Pilates (1880-1967), developer of a conditioning program that improves muscle control, flexibility, coordination, strength and tone. The basic principles of Pilates conditioning are to make people more aware of their bodies as single integrated units; to improve alignment and breathing; and to increase efficiency of movement. The Pilates Method consists of a sequence of carefully performed movements, which may be guided by an instructor, designed to stretch and strengthen the muscles involved, opening the joints and releasing tension. The Pilates method works many of the deeper muscles together, improving coordination and balance to achieve efficient and graceful movement, and are used in hospitals and physical therapy centers to rehabilitate injuries as well as in athletic training rooms and dance studios.