Originally called “Contrology” Joseph Pilates’ system emphasizes concentration and control with the integration of flexibility, strength, precision, breath, flow of movement, and awareness between the body and the mind. His method involves the use of specific exercises performed on their own and in conjunction with specially designed apparatus and equipment. Every individual receives a program within the system of exercises that is tailored to his or her needs and fitness level. Instruction is conducted one on one or in small groups by highly trained practitioners of the Pilates Method. It is one of the only exercise systems that work from the inside out and strengthens what Pilates called the “powerhouse”. The Powerhouse is the deepest muscles in the abdomen, inner thighs, buttocks and lower back.
Joseph H. Pilates’ original method, practiced as he developed it, is a system of stretching and strengthening exercises that has provided these unwavering positive results for over seven decades:
- Strengthens and tones all muscles.
- Improves posture.
- Provides flexibility and balance.
- Increases circulation and endurance.
- Creates a more streamlined shape.
- Unites the body and mind.
- Develops muscles uniformly.
- Allows everyone to exercise regardless of age or fitness level.
Six Principles of Pilates
Centering – Physically bringing the focus to the center or “powerhouse” of the body. All Pilates exercises are sourced from the center of the body.
Concentration – Exercises are performed with focused concentration, paying attention to how the individual executes the exercises while the mind guides the body.
Control – Every Pilates exercise is done with complete muscular control. Habit does not guide the execution of the exercise.
Precision – All exercises are performed with a clear awareness of movement. The work emphasizes quality, not quantity in order to reach the full benefit of each exercise.
Flow – All exercises are designed in a flowing manner. The energy of each exercise will flow naturally into the next movement. There is a minimum of movement between exercises to create a maximum flow.
Breath – Using the breath properly is an integral part of Pilates exercises. Joseph Pilates emphasized using a very full breath to pump air fully in and out of the body. All exercises are done with a rhythm and a dynamic coordinated to respiration.