Mind-Body – Core Strength – Core Stability
You’ve heard those terms before but what are they? Well, they are much more than the latest fitness buzzwords – they are keys to a healthier lifestyle through mindful movement and Pilates.
Pilates is an innovative and safe system of mind-body exercise using a floor mat or a variety of equipment. It evolved from the principles of Joseph Pilates and can dramatically transform the way your body looks, feels and performs. Pilates builds strength without excess bulk, capable of creating a sleek, toned body with slender thighs and a flat abdomen. (Yeah, we know – who doesn’t want that?)
- Concentration: If you bring full attention to the exercise and do it with full commitment, you will obtain maximum value from each movement.
- Control: Every Pilates exercise is done with complete muscular control. No body part is left to its own devices.
- Centering: This concept is defined as physically bringing the focus to the center of the body, the powerhouse area between the lower ribs and pubic bone. Energetically, Pilates exercises are sourced from center.
- Flow: Pilates exercise is done in a flowing manner. Fluidity, grace, and ease are goals applied to all exercises. The energy of an exercise connects all body parts and flows through the body in an even way. Pilates equipment, like the reformer, are very good mirrors of one’s flow and concentration as they tend to bang around and suddenly become quite “machine-like” if one loses ones control and flow.
- Precision: In Pilates, awareness is sustained throughout each movement. There is an appropriate placement, alignment relative to other body parts, and trajectory for each part of the body.
- Breathing: Joseph Pilates emphasized using a very full breath in his exercises. He advocated thinking of the lungs as a bellows — using them strongly to pump the air fully in and out of the body. Most Pilates exercises coordinate with the breath, and using the breath properly is an integral part of Pilates exercise.
For many, these six principles are the foundation of the Pilates approach to exercise. Their application to the Pilates method of exercise is part of what makes it unique in the fitness world. Pilates is a safe, sensible exercise system that will help you look and feel your very best. It teaches body awareness, good posture and easy, graceful movement. Pilates also improves flexibility, agility and economy of motion. It can even help alleviate back pain.