One of the most exciting aspects of my pilates career so far as been being a part of the reintroduction of many pieces of Joseph Pilates’ “lost apparatus” and teaching each of them to the pilates community through Pilates at The Pillow®. So far, these pieces include the Archival Ped-o-Pul, The Resister, The Bench Mat, The Original Pilates Home Mat, the Original Toe Corrector, and The Bednasium. Additionally, each of these apparatus has original instructions, pictures, and/or film directly from Joseph Pilates, that we also pass on to Pilates at The Pillowattendees.  It is our ability to cite multiple references as well as, in most cases, share the original apparatus itself, which is what makes us The Pilates Source® for information on these archival pieces.

Many people are unfamiliar with the Lost Apparatus and attend Pilates at The Pillow® to enhance their knowledge of the depth of Joe’s work as well as their teaching toolbox in an effort to provide their students with as well rounded of an authentic experience as possible.

Read below for a little history on each of the Lost Apparatus reintroduced at Pilates at The Pillow™


The Archival Ped-o-Pul

  • Joe had the adjustable Ped-o-Pul in his 8th Avenue studio in NYC through the 1960’s
  • at least 3 Elders had the adjustable Ped-o-Pul in their studios
  • In the 1950’s Joe wrote about the seat attachment and its exercises
  • photographic evidence shows it was a bike seat that attached
  • Joe created a specific Ped-o-Pul order with instructions and pictures
  • the correct spelling is documented by Joe
  • this workshop is based on archived photos, film, writing, and testimonials

The Resister

  • Joe invented 2 versions of The Resister in the 1940’s

  • He created 2 charts of Resister exercises that included images, instructions, the purpose of each exercise, breathing instructions, and muscle groups targeted

  • He archived these same exercises in the same order in photographs as well

  • His vision was for the public to purchase Resisters to be able to exercise on their own

Read about The Resister in Pilates 4 You Journal

The Bench Mat

  • Joe had a Bench Mat in his NYC studio from the early 1940’s through at least 1957, as documented evidence proves, and he used it very often with students

  • Both Carola Trier and Robert Fitzgerald also had Bench Mats in their studios

  • He created a chart of Bench Mat exercises that included images, instructions, the purpose of the exercises, and breathing.

  • He archived many more exercises on the Bench Mat not shown on the chart

  • The Bench Mat is an apparatus, and Joe referred to it as such

The Original Pilates Home Mat

  • the original foldable, home mat made by Joseph Pilates is owned by Elena Bartley and was loaned to Pilates at The Pillow to display for the Spring 2019 conference

  • Joseph Pilates’ original plaque is found on the mat to prove its authenticity

  • the unique dimensions and padding of the mat enhances and improves the quality of mat workout

The Bednasium

  • The original Bednasiums are owned by Sean Gallagher at Joe’s Original Studio in Becket, MA

  • Joe advertised the Bednasium in both paid advertisements as well as in detailed brochures that showed pictures and contained detailed information

  • He also archived its use in photos and on film, as well as created a child size Bednasium and even a V-bed for a cat

  • Pilates at The Pillow attendees have the opportunity to try the Bednasium using replicas of springs that are the same tension as what Joe used and taught on

Link is for the Original Joe Springs as used on the Bednasium shown here (the Bednasium itself is not for sale).

Toe Corrector, Neck Stretcher, and Hand Tensometer

Joe documented how to use the Toe Corrector, Neck Stretcher, and Hand Tensometer in both photographs and on film. For the first time in pilates history, Pilates at The Pillow Fall 2019 attendees will view Joe’s archival film footage of how to use all three of these apparatuses.

The Pilates Source® brings you the original spring tensions and mechanisms on these apparatus, previously totally unknown to the pilates community. These differences make for an experience of greater depth and more profound connections to the powerhouse than possible with the standard spring tensions otherwise commercially offered throughout the pilates community.

The Original Toe Corrector

  • Joe had at least 2 different versions of the Toe Corrector
  • At Pilates at The Pillow Fall 2019, we will reintroduce a version that was previously lost to history
  • practicing with the original spring tension as Joe intended is a different experience than the standard sold today

Neck Stretcher

  • Replicas of the original spring facilitate a great range of motion in the traditional exercises with the Neck Stretcher, as well as a more intense and deeply grounded connection to the Powerhouse.
  • The original spring for the Neck Stretcher is not the same as the standard sold today (as can be seen in the photo).

Link coming soon.

Hand Tensometer

  • for the first time since Joe was alive, Pilates at The Pillow™ will reveal the original exercises and method for doing them- through colored film taken by Joe himself at Jacob’s Pillow- the very place we will be practicing them.
  • this apparatus was a virtual mystery- until now
  • practicing with Joe’s original spring tension is a different experience than the tensions standardly sold today

The Original Magic Circle

Pilates at The Pillow™ marked the debut of the Pilates Lineage Magic Circle: replicated from an original, this magic circle is the most authentic and effective Magic Circle on the market today.

  • two rings of metal offer just enough resistance yet at the same time makes it possible to practice Joe’s original exercises as he wanted them done
  • wooden handles modeled after Joe’s original
  • this specific tension informs and enhances Joe’s work in a most full body-opening way
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