Believing modern lifestyle, bad posture and insufficient breathing was the cause of our discomforts, Joseph Pilates developed exercises that focused on controlling our movements and called it Contrology

These exercises have grown through medicine and science to be called Pilates.

They promote a strong core by strengthening the deep torso and abdominal muscles, proper alignment of the spine and an awareness to breath; key factors that separate it from other exercise programs.

No other exercise program is as holistic; Pilates pays attention to the whole body improving the strength of your body and mind at the same time. When your mind is in control of what your body is doing, you move freely. Pilates deepens that awareness: you begin controlling your muscles with your mind then, with repetition, all your movements become mindful.

Ideally, our muscles should obey our will. Reasonably, our will should not be dominated by the reflex actions of our muscles.
— Joseph Pilates
Vitality itself is dependant on the absolute coordination of the body and mind- perfect balance!
— Joseph Pilates

All spines are flexible, the bones align according to the use of the muscles around them: Pilates exercises work the muscles that re-position the spine into a healthy effective support for your body.

 

9   FOUNDATIONS  OF  PILATES

what Pilates improves

 

1.  Stamina

 Intensity of movement and the addition of resistance allows stamina to be built in the body. We challenge the endurance of the stabilizing muscles without sacrificing form or technique.

2.  Posture

 Faulty alignment of the skeleton affects breath, posture and movement. The dominance of one muscle can affect the quality of movement, the dominance of one movement can affect the strength and length of muscles and so can affect our posture.

 3.  Precision 

We are aiming for movement that engages the whole system at the same time: the mind and all the parts of the body, to create movement  that is slow and graceful, efficient and accurate.

4.  Relaxation 

As important as it is to build up the muscles it is essential to teach them to relax. Relaxation is the key to health and healing of mind and body. A mind/body that knows how to release is a mind/body that will not overwork or overtire.

5.  Concentration 

The kinesthetic awareness that allows you to focus the mind on what the body is doing. You are using the mind to reeducate the muscles and you should be totally present with the body at all times during this work.

6.  Breathing 

The breath initiates the movement. Breathing into the back of the ribcage enlarges the lungs and replenishes the body with more vital oxygen and helps organize good postural alignment.

7.  Flow  

Holistic movement flows, is as beautiful to watch as it is to perform. Every muscle and joint works synergistically together to perform simple tasks.

8.  Control  

The neuromuscular coordination that guarantees movements will not be haphazard or careless. Control and coordination can be learned through practice.

9.  Centering 

Working from a strong core or “girdle of strength” (Joseph Pilates) all movements begin from the center. Stabilizing from the deep, small core muscles as well as superficial abdominals is a safe and highly effective starting place for movement.