When Joseph Pilates created Pilates it was first called Contrology. At this time his goal was to unite body, mind, and spirit. Today, Pilates has grown into a whole body workout that can benefit all people despite your fitness background. Although Pilates has evolved greatly since Joseph first began, it is still largely based in his eight core principles.
- Concentration: it is important to perform all movements during Pilates deliberately, and with intent. The mind-body connection is vital to perform exercises safely.
- Centering: this principle pertains to the importance of abdominal control and activation with all movements, including moving the arms and legs in standing, sitting, and while lying down.
- Control: it is vital to control the form and muscle activation for each movement, so all exercises are executed in the most efficient manner.
- Precision: this principle was Joseph’s way of saying “quality over quantity,” in that performing few repetitions exactly as they should be is more beneficial than performing many with improper form.
- Breathing: Joseph believed that breath was the center of all movement and exercise. He felt that full, deep breaths were the most important aspect of all exercises.
- Alignment: this principle emphasizes the importance of proper posture and therefore even and equal weight bearing through all extremities. The alignment of the body is also important because it affects the breath.
- Flow: Pilates exercises are meant to be performed in a fluid smooth manner. It is important to transition seamlessly and smoothly to work on endurance and control.
- Integration: this principle speaks to the importance of incorporating all of the Pilates Principles in unison during your Pilates practice.
Keep these principles in mind during your next Pilates session, thanks to Joseph!