Pilates is not one of those exercises that you can do whilst multi-tasking thoughts in your head, as many of you will know from our sessions! It requires you to be aware of the six key principles of the Pilates Method before beginning a class. These principles have been refined over the years and are originally based on what Joseph Pilates called Contrology – complete coordination of the body, mind and spirit. It was Philip Friedman and Gail Eisen that first published ‘The Pilates Method of Physical and Mental Conditioning’, 1980, that outlined the following six principles. Many of you will recognise the principles from the frames that line the walls in the studio. They require practice, but the more you do, the better the results you get.
The Six Principles of the Pilates Method
1. Breath: The breath is an integral part of Pilates exercise and our lives in general! Bf focusing on the breath you allow yourself to concentrate on your body and begin the centering process.
2. Centering: We all live busy lives that can take a lot of our focus. This can have a negative impact on our health. This concept is based on the principle that by bringing your focus to the centre of your body you are calibrating your energy.
3. Concentration: Like other areas in life, by committing your full attention to the task ahead of you, you will get the maximum benefit. Concentration is key to improvement.
4. Control: Each movement is done with deliberate action and intent to hone your muscular control and improve your health.
5. Precision: Our bodies are aligned to impact one another. Pilates uses this knowledge and awareness to ensure each movement is in alignment to the rest of the body.
6. Flow: Last, but not least but no means, is the flowing manner that Pilates works under. It is crucial to be moving into each move with ease, grace, and balanced control. The equipment that we use in the studio is set out to optimise the flow of the sessions.
Regular Pilates practice can help to improve your posture, balance, joint issues, flexibility, body strength, general wellness and can provide pain relief. Two of the most common injuries that we’ve all had the displeasure of dealing with are stiff necks and bad knees. Watch these two videos that I’ve done to see how we target those areas:
Pilates has something to offer everyone, whether you are young or old, beginner or experienced, you are in safe hands! Before starting any of the sessions, we collaborate with yourself, the physiotherapist and the class instructor to assess and adapt the choice of exercises to what needs to be worked on. We believe it’s important to have you involved in this process because it is your body and you should have a say in the process. The equipment in the studio then allows us to support the injured area whilst it is being worked on. This allows us to ensure that the whole area’s strength is built up until it is fit again.
What injury niggle or ache do you have at the moment? Let’s have a chat about how we can solve it for you.