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The principles of Pilates

The six principles of Pilates differentiate this unique form of movement from other types of workouts. They are the essential qualities of the practice, and when kept in mind during each exercise, will heighten the focus of the movement, whether in Pilates classes, at home or in private sessions.

A great way to really expand your practice and get the most out of each workout is to study these principles. Learn them intellectually and put them into practice through physical actualization—this is how you integrate the body/mind connection throughout your practice. It doesn’t matter if you’re working out at our South Bay Pilates studio on a reformer or on a mat at home—instilling these principles will increase your intention and maximize results.

Centering Centering brings focus to the “Powerhouse,” the Pilates term for the center of the body where all movement originates, including the abdomen, back and buttock region. Often times in Pilates classes, your instructor will tell you to “center” yourself, which means to ignite awareness of your alignment and to stabilize the pelvis in a neutral position. By doing this, you increase strength and restore balance to your body.

Control Control is critical for safe movement and transforming your body. Rather than using momentum, Pilates exercises are performed with complete muscular control—full attention must be focused on positioning and sequencing. It’s helpful to work out at a Pilates studio so that instructors can supervise your movement and help identify the areas where you lack control.

Concentration To get the maximum results from each movement, each exercise should be performed with full awareness of the entire body. By focusing on your body as a whole, your practice will be effective and challenging.

Precision Pilates is all about the details—each exercise should be performed with focus on the correct technique and executed with sustained precision. Movements should be smooth and integrated, and positioning should be exact. It’s very helpful to practice at a Pilates studio as much as possible, especially when you’re a beginner, so that you can develop good habits and muscle memory to help you maintain precision.

Flow Pilates is done in a style of continuous flow. Infusing grace and fluidity into each movement will help you garner the best results possible. Think reach, smooth movements and seamless transitions.

Breath Pilates exercises coordinate with our breath. We use it in our practice to engage target muscles, boost circulation, oxygenate the blood and calm the mind. Take deep, mindful breaths to activate core support, intensify movement and keep your body and mind focused and energized.

Whether you join us at our Pilates studio in the South Bay or if you practice at home, if you study these principles and actualize them in your Pilates practice and daily life, you will see an amazing body transformation that significantly improves your overall quality of life.

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