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What Are the Six Pilates Principles?

in Southfield, MI

If you’ve been practicing Pilates for any amount of time, you probably have
some familiarity with the six Pilates principles. If not though, don’t worry!
While these principles give Pilates a unique position in the fitness world,
you can still love the practice without having any knowledge of them. It may
be enough to know that the integration of the principles is a big part of what
infuses Pilates with its signature balance, ease, and grace.

In case you ARE interested though, the principles are as follows:

1. Breathing

Breath unites us. It’s the first thing we do when we get here and the last
thing we do before we leave.

However, many of us don’t breathe “well.” And we’re not talking about
having breathing issues. It’s about HOW we breathe. Our breathing
patterns can affect neural sensitivity, posture, and pelvic floor health.
When Joseph Pilates developed this system, he felt that every person
should learn the art of deep breathing . Breathing habits influence nearly
every system of our bodies. Taking the intentional, deep, and full breaths
taught in Pilates pushes blood to the muscles for more effective movement
and sends signals to the brain to relax.

2. Concentration

Pilates encourages practitioners to improve the connection between the
mind and body to ensure maximum benefit from each. It might not sound
like much, but research shows that practicing this sort of mindful movement
can reduce stress and blood pressure as well as manage pain.

In addition, when practitioners develop this sort of increased awareness, it
moves with out of the actual physical practice and into their daily lives.
They become more efficient in the daily movement, whether that’s walking,
exercising, or even just sitting at a desk.

 

3. Centering

You can’t take a Pilates class without hearing about the Pilates
“powerhouse.”

The powerhouse is the core of the body. Many people confuse this with just
the abs. While the abs are a part of the core, the powerhouse comprises
the area from the shoulders to below the hip joints and around to the side
bodies and lower back.

Focus on the core is crucial for maintaining strength and stability, but there
can be a tendency toward over-recruitment of the abdominal muscles
which can negatively impact diaphragmatic movement. Pilates teaches the
subtle difference to ensure this doesn’t happen.

4. Control

When Joseph Pilates developed this system, it wasn’t called Pilates. It was
known as “contrology.” Practitioners are instructed to pay attention to
control, pacing, and form rather than speed and intensity.

Pilates is well-suited to those who are coming to exercise after injury,
illness, pregnancy, or prolonged inactivity. For them, they may feel that their
bodies are out of control and Pilates teaches new ways to to move safely
and consciously. Eventually, this controlled way of moving becomes hard-
wired into the brain.

5. Precision

Along with great control, Pilates requires you to move with precision.
Highly trained Pilates instructors teach practitioners to initiate movement
from the right part of the body and with the proper amount of effort. They
look for specific shapes and movement patterns practitioners use and will
cue and correct to ensure the intended muscles and bones are working.

6. Flow

 

Finally, all of the above principles are incorporated into a flow that allows
the body to move with ease and fluidity. No matter how challenging the
movements are.

The movements in Pilates are meant to be executed smoothly and
gracefully. Continuous movement allows practitioners to increase strength
and build stamina without jarring movements that strain the joints.
It’s a truly beautiful system.

Are You Ready to Experience the Six Pilates Principles?

It should be noted that Joseph Pilates didn’t set out to specifically create six
Pilates principles. They are concepts distilled from his work by later
instructors and there’s not always agreement about the words or the order
of the principles.

Whatever the case, if you’re looking for a fitness routine that strengthens,
stretches, and tones, then contact us today.

Our highly qualified instructors will work with you on state-of-the-art
equipment to ensure you embrace every one of these principles
completely.

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