Put Joseph Pilates’ Principles to Work!
Win your Next Pilates Workout with Guidance from Joseph Pilates Himself!
A little guidance from “uncle Joe” can help you crush get more out out of your next session. Let’s make sure we understand the principles of Pilates as designed by Joseph Pilates himself!
Are you kicking off a practice of Pilates for Beginners? Are you an advanced Pilates practitioner? Whether you are in the beginning of your journey with this amazing method of exercise, developed by Joseph Pilates, or you’ve been working on it for years, you can always enjoy a refresh of the core Principles of Pilates as designed by Joseph Pilates himself.
In Pilates, what does this really mean? Every single movement is a conscious choice. Let’s say a particular muscle is not the immediate focus of an exercise. It’s not the “star.” Does this mean it takes a break? Not at all. Pilates is all about control. It is all deliberate. Mindful movement is the name of the game. If Deepak Chopra has taught us anything about mindfulness, it’s that “is the opposite of acting out of habit, old conditioning, and automatic reflexes. You no longer are a brain puppet reacting.” Mindfulness applies to movement too. No muscle ever falls by the wayside. Today let’s all focus on controlling the way our bodies move and engage!
We talked about control, but what is centering? Is it the same? While definitely linked, it’s actually not the same. Centering is the act of physically and mentally bringing our focus to the center of our bodies. If you thought, core, you guessed it! That’s why in Fittbe Pilates, we’re always talking about how even if it feels like a leg exercise, it’s a core exercise. Even if it’s an arm exercise, it’s a core exercise. So stay centered in mind, body, and spirit! Don’t forget, we said it is physical focus too, and you can even engage your core when you’re sitting at your desk, stuck in traffic, or having a phone chat with a friend. Try to tighten your abdominal muscles and pull them toward your spine as you exhale. Talk about a multitasking method that can change your life for the better!
What is concentration in Pilates? It’s all about the mind-body connection. We must concentrate on the quality of each movement in order to get the most out of each exercise and session. We are paying attention to how we are moving our bodies – are we rolling through our spine as we tighten our abdominals? Are we twisting and tightening our waist with each exhale? Are we doing leg circles and focusing on the extension off our leg, lengthening with every circle as we stabilize our core with the rest of our body? It’s my hope that everyone tries this amazing method of exercise, it’s preventative, practical, and perfect!
I have this habit of mentally commenting on people’s form when they walk or run. Sometimes I see runners and I think, ouch, their knees are really going to hurt later in life. Or maybe just tomorrow! The knowledge that my Pilates training has given me with regard to precise movement translates through my life and I hope it does for you too!
The point of this principle is that each movement performed in a Pilates session must be precise. No floppy arms. No “going through the motions.” It just won’t work. It won’t give you the results, and it won’t feel right in your body. So, always keep focus on making precise movements. If our arms are 3/4 up, that’s exactly where they are placed. Focus on precision! Do you best and know where your body is headed – be accurate – be exact!
People are often confused on this one. Usually in Pilates we coordinate breathing out with exertion. Proper breathing allows you to center yourself in the moment and supports mind body awareness. So for example, as you curl up and engage your abs, you want to tighten and engage! It also helps to support a beautiful flowing session!
We just talked about breathing and how it supports flow. Everything is linked! When grace and ease are applied to the exercises, we end up with a smooth and continuous sequence of beautiful movement like the choreographed sessions we all enjoy in the Fittbe Pilates App!