The Nine Pilates Principles and Why They are Important
February 1, 2017
Hello hello! We had a bunch of snow yesterday so we got outside for a little snow fun after naptime. Haha! He looks just like a big marshmallow.
Over the weekend at my pilates training, we went over the Nine Pilates Principles. Although I was already familiar with these principles, I thought it a great refresher not only on what they are but also why they are important.
Breathing. Just like in yoga, breathing in pilates is so important. It is the ultimate link in the mind to body connection. It helps to draw the wandering mind back to the task at hand to help you focus on the present. It also helps create rhythm in your movements. And, of course, breathing circulates oxygen throughout your body! Holding your breath won’t help you feel good or perform the exercise better and breathing will help you relax. So, remember to breath!
Concentration. Concentration means focusing on what you are doing. Often times it is easy to go on autopilot during your workout and think about other things. But concentrating on your movements will help you perform them more effectively and help you feel more relaxed.
Control. Having control in your movements requires form, alignment and effort during the exercise. You must have control of what you are doing.
Centering. The center is an important component of pilates. All movements initiate from the center. Developing a strong and stable core and center is crucial to pilates.
Precision. Precision is the ability to perform exercises with the optimum alignment, control and effort. Simple and precise movements are important for an effective pilates practice.
Balanced Muscle Development. Maintaining proper form and alignment in all of your moves will help with balanced muscle development. You never want to favor one muscle or one side over another but focus on creating balanced, equally strong muscles.
Rhythm and Flow. Pilates is done with rhythm and flow, which one move going nicely into the next. This creates a graceful, smooth sense of movement and keeps your stamina up creating a better workout! This is something that requires practice and experience in pilates to achieve.
Whole Body Movement. Pilates is often thought to be an ab workout and while centering is one of the main principles, which means that movements do stem from the core, the workout is actually about integrating the whole body for a total body workout. Plus, by adding the mind to the body movement, pilates creates balance.
Relaxation. We are so focused on getting a hard and effective workout that we sometimes lose focus on this important principle. There must be balance between the effort and relaxation. I like a little massage at the end of the workout or a savasana for relaxation!
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Good reminder of why we do Pilates–because of the benefit and strength we get from applying the nine principles to our workout. It is so true and every one principle relies on the integrity of the other eight principles to be completely effective! Thanks for your refresher!