The Principles of Pilates

Concentration

This is the art of being able to concentrate and block out all other thoughts. The aim is to be able to focus fully on each movement, with one movement flowing into the next bringing mind and body together 

Breath

The way we breathe in Pilates is very important and a process that some people find difficult at first. Because during Pilates we engage the deep abdominals it is important to focus the breathing into the rib area. This is called Lateral Thoracic breathing. NB This is explained in more detail when we discuss Neutral Spine 

Centering

 In Pilates it is believed that all movement comes from a strong centre 'The Core', which we also call the 'Power House' or 'Girdle of Strength'. Every exercise in Pilates is controlled by the contraction of the deep abdominal muscles made up of the Transverse Abdominis, Lumbar Multifidus, Internal Obliques and Pelvic Floor muscles. In Pilates we learn to strengthen from the Centre.

Relaxation

 It is essential to learn how to focus your mind on how your body feels as you begin to exercise. By recognising any areas of tension you can concentrate and focus on trying to release this tension. The aim is to work at learning to release any stress, relax through the body and allow it to move in a natural flowing way with ease and fluidity 

Quality

Correct alignment of the body is crucial while exercising, and the positioning of the body and mastering the techniques within Pilates is the key to quality execution of the movements 

Awareness

Everybody is unique and each exercise will challenge a person in a different way. We learn our own body's strengths and weaknesses, which in turn brings body awareness, control and effective execution of the movement. Pilates is an educational exercise programme 

Flowing Movement

All Pilates exercises should be performed in a continuous flowing way aiming to achieve slow controlled movement resulting in a balanced and functional programme.  

Stamina

As with other forms of exercise, repetition and frequency increases skill level and the activity itself strengthens the body preparing it for all the activity and adventures that life brings