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   Pilates Principles

The Pilates Method uses a set of principles based on a  philosophical   and a theoretical foundation . It is not merely a set of exercises but a method,   created and changed over more than seventy years. While Pilates draws from many   diverse movements styles, from yoga to Greek to Chinese acrobatics, there are   certain principles that unite these elements together under Pilates. The Pilates   Principles: Centering, Concentration, Control, breath, and Flow.

MIND OVER MATTER The main element of the Pilates Method is also its   most interesting. The method’s aim(beyond getting fit) is creating a fusion   of body and mind, that without thinking about, you move with grace, and balance;   you hold yourself tall; and you use your body to the highest advantage, making   the most of its powers, balancing its weaknesses, and fixing its imbalances.   The conflict is this: to create an attention free union of body and mind, the   method asks that you stay focused on your body when you are doing the exercises.   This focus is so vital that it is more important than any other factor of the   movements or the method.

Breath Joseph Pilates believed in pumping the blood so that it would   awaken all the body cells and bring away the wastes that are related to tiredness.   For the blood to function properly, it has to be full of oxygen and cleaned   of waste gases by breathing. Full inhalation and exhalation are a part of the   Pilates exercise. Pilates uses forced exhalation as the key to complete inhalation.   “Squeeze out the lungs as you would a wet towel” he is credited to have said.   “Soon the body is filled with oxygen. Breathing, too, should be done with focused   mind, control, and exactitude. It should be properly joined with movement. The   exercise is accompanied by breathing instructions, additionally, there are a   several general principles that will assist when you’re in a pose that does   not come with instructions attached. “Breathe in on the point of effort,” Romana   Kryzanowska said, “and out on relaxation.” This is a rule that can be modified   by the form of the activity.

CENTERING Pilates named the big group of muscles in our center – filling our abdomen, back, hips, and buttocks – the “power house.” All energy for Pilates exercises starts in the powerhouse and goes out to the extremities. Physical energy starts  from the center to coordinate one's movements. In this way a strong foundation is created upon which to use in the life.

CONCENTRATION You have to focus on the moment And you must focus on your entire body. This is not something you will be able to do when you begin, because it’s more difficult than you think. Once you start really paying attention to your body, you will find that a movement that may seem simple is actually quite hard.

CONTROL Pilates teaches complete muscle control, and there are no , haphazard movements. Focus is needed in order to be in control of the aspects of every movement. This is not just to the large motions of limbs, but to the locations of fingers and toes, the degree of arching or flatness of the back and the turning in or out of the legs.

PRECISION Every movement in the Pilates method is for a reason. Every instruction is important for the success of the whole. To remove any detail is to give up the value of the exercise. The focus is on doing precise and perfect movement, rather than halfhearted ones. Eventually this precision becomes a habit, and carries over into everyday life as grace and economy of movement.

FLUIDITY Pilates exercises are performed with grace. There are no static,   isolated movements our bodies do not function that way. Dynamic energy takes   the place of the quick, movements of other exercise programs. Grace of motion   is preferred over speed; ultimately the movements is as fluid as a long stride   or a dance. Uniformly developed muscles are the key to great posture, flexibility,   and grace.

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