A core-strengthening and conditioning program, all Pilates exercises are sourced from the center, the powerhouse area between the lower ribs and pubic bone. It connects the body and gives a focal point from which each movement comes forth. Having a strong center enables to easily pass on power to each movement and provide good spine support.
Concentration is the cornerstone of fitness fundamentals. This principle calls for undivided attention and awareness of the entire body. The mind commands the body, which is important to be extremely focused on performing the movements correctly. The goal is to eventually master the movements so they become part of the body memory, flawlessly perform movements without having to think about them.
Control is the regulation of the execution of an action given. Refining control is essential in mastering a skill. Originally, Joseph Pilates, the inventor of the Pilates method, called “Contrology” to emphasize the importance of the correct and controlled execution of each movement. In every movement, you have to be in control the way you control your body instead of being at its mercy.
Move with quality instead of quantity. This is what precision principle is about. Executing movement with deliberate exactitude is more important than executing repetitively but in poor manner. Particular defined movements in Pilates get the most benefit.
Many people tend to hold their breath while exercising, or they only use a shallow breath. Breathing is essential to the Pilates method. Controlling respiration with deep exhalations during exercise helps activate muscles and maintain focus. The breathing pattern is connected with the pattern of movement. Every Pilates exercise is performed with rhythm and dynamics relevant to heartbeat and breathing, which promotes free flow of oxygen throughout the body. This improves circulation and helps prevent unneeded muscle tension. A relaxed and full breath pattern encourages focus and concentration.
Flow is about doing each movement with even manner, grace and fluidity. Exercises in Pilates are performed seamlessly from one to the next without static or jerky movements. Outside Pilates classes, the principle of flow teaches people to take life as it comes and move through their days with ease, continuity, grace and fluidity.
Incorporating these six principles in Pilates method provides benefits that goes way beyond toned and strong abdominals. It is about balanced strength and flexibility, efficiency, body awareness and mental clarity.