Vital in understanding what makes Pilates, Pilates.
Many people ask if Pilates is the same as yoga. No. What makes Pilates are the principles.
The first principle is breath, everything starts as the first thing we do when we're born. It feeds every cell in our body. Without breathing, you're not doing Pilates. It's essential when you are practising your Pilates work, that breath is very much part of this. You're not holding your breath. So you must commit and learn to breathe, this will be an ongoing process. It will take time. But it's part of those principles of Pilates, and it's part of that learning for you.
The second principle is concentration to focus in and be focused on that movement and feel that movement and be in that movement. If you have no concentration, you're not present in that movement. This will allow you to switch off from the usual daily stresses of life, connecting the mind and the body.
The third principle is control. Joseph Pilates wanted us to control not only the body but the mind. So to first connect with that movement, control and knowing what your intentions are and what you plan to do and then getting that control of your movement. It's better to do five concentrated controlled movements than to do 20 you have no focus, concentration or control over. When you're performing your Pilates moves, we want you to really focus in and control the mind to the body.
The fourth principle of Pilates is centring. Mr Pilates talked about coming from your powerhouse. Everything comes from the central point. Everything is outwards from the centre. You must be strong from the powerhouse.
Precision is something that you get once you have mastered your concentration and your other principles, something that you work towards. It's not something you will achieve right away, but it's something you're striving to achieve. That precision and that focused precise movement from your main to your physical body and that precision of your movement.
As you go through the rest of your principles, this will happen, improvement to your overall balanced musculature and your overall posture.
rhythm and flow, combined with focus, concentration and breath. It produces less stress on your joints, when you move, reducing the amount of stress that you then place on your joints.
Whole-body movement. Pilates is not just about your core. Yes, everything originates from your powerhouse, but Pilates as a whole-body movement. You're working your mind and physical body together. Your whole body is working, it is not just working any one particular area.
The final principle is relaxation. When we perform Pilates, we perform using the amount of energy we need. We want to teach you to be normal functioning human beings who can ambulate and move using the correct amount of energy. Pilates is about utilising just the right amount of energy that you need to execute that movement, precisely using all the other principles. But it's also important that we unwind and we're able to relax the body and the mind appropriately.
That is what makes Pilates, Pilates, and it's through all of those principles together that you're doing Pilates practice otherwise your not doing Pilates – you doing movement – not Pilates.
If you would like to learn Pilates and get the foundations correct and properly, why not jump onto our Pilates Beginners workshop - you can join us live or on demand - jump in here and get started on your Pilates plan right away