6 Core Principles of the Pilates Method
The Pilates Method is based on a series of core principles that benefit you beyond your time in the studio.
In Pilates, the starting point and source of all movement is the center of the body, also known as the Powerhouse. The Powerhouse is the area that includes the abdominal muscles, lower back muscles, pelvic floor, the glutes and muscles around the hips. Centering teaches us to utilize our core as the starting location for any movement. Centering will aid in correct alignment and form in all we do. You can take the concept of centering beyond your pilates workout and utilize it while waiting in line at the store, sitting at a desk all day and even carrying small children. With a strong center and proper posture and spinal alignment, we are less likely to injure ourselves.
The Pilates principle of Concentration is about bringing full attention and commitment to each exercise in an effort to gain the most benefit from the workout. Concentration and engagement in every breath and every movement ensures that you are completely present and aware of what you are doing at that very moment. Learning to be mindful and focused on the present can be beneficial in countless ways. By concentrating only on the task at hand, our concentration improves and we perform better.
In Pilates, we perform every single exercise with complete muscular control. Each muscle and body part works together to carry out the exercises. The principle of Control extends beyond our Pilates mats and Equipment classes. We learn to control our bodies and move with steadiness at all times. Practicing control will help us decrease potentially injurious movements. Once we gain the concept of control we begin to carry ourselves in a more balanced and safe manner.
Every movement in Pilates has a purpose. It is important to be aware of correct body placement and to understand how each part of our body functions in conjunction with each other. By learning how every part of our bodies plays an important role in our movement, we can remain aware of the ways in which our muscles and ligaments work together to keep us performing and functioning efficiently.
In Pilates exercises, Every movement is propelled by breath. The first thing we do in life is take a breath, similarly, in pilates, every movement in the method also begins with a breath. Joseph Pilates, the founder of Pilates, often advised people to use their lungs to powerfully pump air completely in and out of the body. This is a useful principle in our daily lives because it reminds us to take deep, oxygenating breaths. Our breath sustains us and is a necessary component of everything we do and every movement we make.
Pilates exercises are completed in a smooth, steady and continuous manner, with each movement flowing gracefully into the other. Outside of 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.