6 Principles of Pilates
Anyone who practices Pilates knows that it’s a continuous stage of growth. Once one exercise is executed efficiently, another layer of that same exercise can be improved. Joseph Pilates’ principles are always new each time you do them!
Pilates focuses on strengthening the “powerhouse”, or core. Physically centering the body in this way, increases energy and strength throughout. Not only are you focusing on these core muscles, you are also balancing the right and left side of the body, while simultaneously balancing dominant and weaker muscle groups.
“Concentrate on the correct movement each time you exercise, lest you do them improperly and thus lose all vital benefits.”-Joseph Pilates. Pilates creates an active meditation that pulls an individual away from their surrounding stressors. Making the decision to think about the motion and what muscles to activate (versus just moving through it) provides increased performance and better results that transcend into your everyday life.
Allowing yourself the opportunity to slow down a motion, and get the feeling into your body, is the most ideal way to reap the benefits of any fitness regime. Every movement in Pilates is deliberate, and the mind should be directing every muscle.
Precision dictates the efficiency of how each exercise is done. A common misconception of Pilates is that it’s “too easy.” That is directly translated as exercises being done too quickly and not knowing what muscles should be working. Each Pilates movement has a purpose, placement and technique that needs to be followed in order to be successful.
Flow is involved in all exercises and is what stitches each movement together. Every motion in our body needs to be executed with ease versus pain or difficulty. Reminding ourselves that we should only move and function when good flow is possible is imperative and should be stopped when it’s not. Patience with this concept will improve our overall health in our everyday lives.
“Breathing is the first act of life and the last. Our very life depends on it.”-Joseph Pilates. Breath is the most encapsulating principle. With the breath, none of the other key elements are being done to the best of their ability. Oxygen, blood flow, increased space to move, and many other benefits are just some of the variables of using the breath. Most people inevitably hold their breath when under stress. Learning to first breathe, and then when to breathe certain ways, helps any Pilates practitioner reach their goals.