Principles of Pilates

Pilates is a form of exercise that incorporates mind and body.  Pilates promotes long, lean muscles, a clear mind and a refreshed sense of accomplishment.  The exercises combine elements from yoga, breathing techniques, dancing, gymnastics and boxing.  Joseph Pilates founded the principles of Pilates over 80 years ago.  He was a physically active man that cared for World War I soldiers, incorporating physical exercise as means of rehabilitation.  His teachings helped people deal with injury, posture and improve fitness.  His techniques promoted strength, flexibility as well as core and postural stability. 

Pilates integrates breathing with movement.  Each breath and each movement is purposeful and intentional.  The principles of Pilates are: centering, concentration, control, precision, breath, and flow.  Centering refers to bringing the focus to the center of the body, or the core.  Concentration brings a full commitment to the exercise for best results.  Control refers to each exercise being done with full body control.  Precision is important, as each movement should be done exactly and with excellent form.  Breath is emphasized with each exercise movement, as the lungs pump the air throughout the body.  Flow is important as each movement is done in a flowing manner, with grace and fluidity.

By incorporating these principles, you can ensure that your form is correct and that you are properly engaging your mind into the physical workout.  Integrating these principles in your workout brings the balance, strength, and mind-body connection necessary to achieve results.

Basic Pilates exercises do not require any fitness equipment.  Many exercises can be done on the floor, using your own body weight for resistance.  More advanced exercisers may perform Pilates movements on exercise equipment called reformers.  If you are curious about Pilates, a great way to begin is by joining a local Pilates class.  If classes aren’t your favorite, purchase a DVD or look for a Pilates routine on the internet and follow along in your living room.  Pilates is a great way to achieve a toned body and a clear mind.