Pilates Principles

BREATHING

Breath is the fuel that drives the movement. Deliberate breathing techniques change nervous system responses and will increase strength when needed, activate the core, or release tension. Breathing is improving the flow of oxygen through our bodies and the capacity of our lungs.  It calms the mind and the body, encourages concentration, provides a rhythm for movement and assists in activating target muscles.

CONCENTRATION

To concentrate is to pay attention to what you are doing.   Concentrate on the alignment of the body and stabilization throughout the execution of the exercise.  The practice of Pilates stimulates and fortifies the mind-body connection. Without concentration the exercises lose their form and their purpose.

CONTROL

To be in control is to understand and maintain the right form, alignment and effort during the whole exercise.  Initially, achieving control of movement is a conscious process.  It occurs through practice, practice, and more practice.  As you continue to practice and integrate the work into your body, your own movement control becomes a part of your being. 

CENTERING

In Pilates all movement radiates from the center - the core, also called the powerhouse. It is important to develop a strong, stable and flexible core.  A strong center enhances performance.

PRECISION

Precision is a fundamental ingredient in the practice of Pilates. We must actively and consciously direct our attention to how we move. Precision requires complete integration of the body's musculature, balance and alignment.

BALANCE MUSCLE DEVELOPMENT

Understanding, developing and maintaining correct alignment and form is essential to Pilates. The combination of these 3 factors will lead to balanced muscle development, improve posture and the abilities to do your daily activities. You will move toward a stronger functioning body.

FLOW/RHYTHM

Flow is an essential quality to strive for.  Flow can be described as a smooth, uninterrupted continuity of movement.  It requires a deep understanding of the movement and incorporates precise muscle activation and timing.  It decreases the amount of stress placed on our joints and creates a continuous stream of motion.  Can be also describes as "flowing motion outward from a strong center."

WHOLE BODY MOVEMENT

Pilates is all about body integration. We learn how to move with awareness of the whole body.  It is a complete coordination of body, mind and spirit.

Benefits of Pilates

  • develops many aspects of physical fitness:  strength, mobility, agility, flexibility

  • great for abdominals and core strength

  • heightens body awareness 

  • enhances body control

  • improves balance

  • corrects posture and alignment

  • gives you better spinal health & strength

  • perfect rehabilitation for back pain

  • assists with recovery from injuries

  • places no pressure on your knees and joints

  • improves your sex life

  • boosts your mental health and improves focus and concentration

  • prevents the risks of injuries

  • beneficial both during and after pregnancy

  • provides a path to inner harmony through a finely tuned body

Of course, Pilates is not a potion that cures all and brings about miraculous changes immediately.  Change takes time, commitment, and discipline.  If you are dedicated to regular Pilates sessions, some positive changes are inevitable.  Although certain changes can and often do occur immediately.  For instance, a change in body awareness, muscle activation, or alignment.  It takes time for most changes and adaptation to become imprinted in the neuromuscular system, for muscles to transform, and for the transformation to be integrated into a person's life.

The physical benefits are undoubtedly important, but the effects on the inner being carry implications that are infinite.  And if you feel good, you function well. The old adage that says that within a healthy body lies a healthy mind could be taken one step further:  

A healthy mind guides a healthy body.