The different principles of pilates

February 23, 2015

Pilates is a form of physical fitness or exercise that was formerly developed by a German named Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century. It is a combination of breathing, stretching, and muscle contraction and relaxation exercises that is designed to strengthen your core, and make you firmer and fitter. It is also known as the 'art of controlled movements'. It is actually an adopted form of yoga, which helps improve flexibility, build strength, and develop control and endurance in the body. Pilates has become very popular today, especially in North America, Vancouver, Canada.

There are a few core principles that must be adhered to, while performing Pilates, and they must all be performed in unison, to enjoy the complete benefits of Pilates. They are as follows:

Concentration - You need to have intense focus and concentration while doing Pilates the whole time. You must be able to concentrate on all your body movements and perform them smoothly.

Control - Pilates is all about having complete control over your muscles. Having control is important so that you can be aware of every move at every moment. The muscles work against gravity while doing Pilates, and therefore you must be in complete control of your bodily movements.

Centering - Pilates focuses all of the exercises around your core or center. The group of muscles comprising the center of the body, which includes your stomach, upper and lower back, glutes and inner thighs, are collectively called the "powerhouse". All the movements in Pilates begin from the center or the powerhouse and move outward to the hands and legs.

Flow of Movement - Pilates encourages and requires elegant and graceful movements of the body, and a kind of flow between transition or change of positions and stands. It is almost like performing a slow dance, and requires an immense amount of rhythm, poise and delicacy. The exercises are meant to flow in and out of each other that it supposed to build both strength and stamina. It deals with the outward flow of energy from a strong core or center point.

Precision - All the exercises performed during Pilates should be carried out with the proper and exact amount of precision necessary to completely avail all the health benefits of the exercises. Focus should be centered towards doing one movement perfectly and precisely, rather than doing a series of halfhearted movements, which is a complete waste of time and energy.

Breathing - Last but not the least, performing the correct breathing techniques while doing Pilates increases blood circulation to the mind and body. Inhalation and exhalation while changing certain postures and positions should be done correctly and at the right times, otherwise the Pilates exercises will not have a positive effect on you.