>The Body and Mind Alternative Modalities: Pilates Principles

>I speak on yoga and its many benefits. Today, I will talk about Pilates. I am interested in it because it seems to have many of the same philisopical concepts that are also in yoga.
Here are the Pilates Principles:
There are 6 pinciples that define the purpose of the Pilates Method:
1. Concentration: The mind wills the body to perform. It is said that without mental focus during a workout, only half of a workout is being done.  Therefore, a person needs to bring full attention to the exercise, and does it with full commitment. This is the way to receive maximum value from each movement.
2. Control: Pilates exercises require muscle control to guard against injury, and to achieve full functional benefit from each movement.  Every Pilates exercise is done with complete muschlar control. No body part is left to its own device.
3. Center: The abdomen, lower back, hips and buttocks comprise our “center.” This is the region that Joseph Pilates referred to as our “powerhouse”- all energy for movement begins in the center, and continues to the extremities.
4. Fluidity: It is intended that the exercises be executed with optimal flow and grace. There are no static or isolated movements, and manoeuvres are never rushed.  Pilates exercises are 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 flos 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 then suddently become quite machine- like if one loses control and flow.
5. Precision: Each movement has a purpose and each repetition of  an exercise is of high quality, so favorable muscle patterning  becomes second nature with practice. In Pilates, awareness is sustained through each movement. There is an appropriate placement, alignment relative to other body parts.
6. Breath: Breating with intention assists with muscle control in Pilates exercises. Inhaling and exhaling fully promotes purification and oxgenation of the lungs and bloodstream which energizes the system and gives a feeling of well-being. Joseph Pilates emphasized using a very full breath in his exercises. He advocated for thinking of the lungs as “Bellows”- using them strongly to pump the air fully in and out of the body. Most Pilates exercises coordinate with the breath, using the breath properly is an integral part of Pilates exercises.
This was taken in part from: Pohlman, J. (2007). Simply Pilates. Heatherton Victoria, Australia. Hinkler Books

For your Fitness goals, here is a DVD from Gaiam on Pilates: