Benefits of Pilates

“Because of poor posture, practically 95% of our population suffers from varying degrees of spinal curvature, not to mention more serious ailments.” Joseph Pilates

  • Benefits men and women of any age and any physical condition

  • Refreshes mental and physical well-being

  • Helps body condition without forcing

  • Unites mind, body and spirit

  • Can be done anywhere at any time

  • Works without stress on the body

  • Builds balanced body strength

  • Controls breathing pattern

  • Oxygenates body

  • Improves circulation

  • Cleanses the body of impurities

  • Focuses on the core

  • Improves muscle strength, flexibility, and posture

  • Involves deep muscles to build strong center

  • Has direct connection to the muscles

  • Strengthens muscles without bulk

  • Provides a firm support system for the spine

  • Strengthens bones

  • Increases joints range of motion

  • Improves inner awareness

  • Encourages good coordination

  • Relaxes the mind

  • Controls the stress

10 Principles of Pilates

"To understand Pilates need to know Joseph Pilates' ten principles.  Pilates is a philosophy of Quality not Quantity and designed for precise movement for less repetitions." Alona Casanave

1. CENTER

2. CONCENTRATION

3. PILATES BREATHING

4. CONTROL

5. BODY AWARENESS

6. EFFICIENT

7. PRECISION

8. FLOW

9. BALANCE

10. HARMONY

"Pilates develops the body uniformly, corrects wrong postures, restores physical vitality invigorates the mind and elevates the spirit." Joseph Pilates 

 

1. CENTER

 

The center of your body is core; the core is the center of your power. Moving in alignment from the center will build a strong, efficient body. In Pilates, the center is united with body, mind, and spirit, physically bringing the focus to the center of the body. All Pilates exercises should be done with the deep abdominals engaged to make sure there is proper centering. Every exercise should be done from the center control. As soon as you reach total control from the center you may progress to the next level.

 

"Always keep your mind wholly concentrated on the purpose of the exercises as you perform them." Joseph Pilates

 

2. CONCENTRATION

 

Concentration is the focused control of movement that improves body awareness. It is the mental power for attaining mind-body awareness. Proper concentration allows you to do as many repetitions of a Pilates movement as you can while simultaneously focusing on being in the right position. Complete attention and complete commitment to the exercise will give  maximum benefit from each movement.

 

"Breathing is the first act of life. Our very life depends on it.  Millions have never learned to master the art of correct breathing." Joseph Pilates

 

3. PILATES BREATHING

 

Every Pilates exercise has a specific breathing pattern assigned to it. Consistent breathing is important for proper muscle balance, correct mechanics, and flowing movement. Focused breathing can help maximize the body’s ability to stretch, maintain body control, and increase range of motion. At the same time, breathing should not create tension and confusion. If it does, then it may be preferable to use an alternate breathing pattern.

 

Three categories of Pilates:

 

  • Lateral expansion of the rib cage called “lateral breathing”:

                Inhale - expanding the ribs cage sideways.

                Exhale- decreasing the ribs cage.

  • Percussive breathing:

                Inhale – smooth and deep.

                Exhale – percussive.

  • Hide-and-seek breathing:

                Inhale and Exhale –without a whole lot of movement in the rib cage.

 

"Good posture can be successfully acquired only when the entire mechanism of the body is under perfect control." Joseph Pilates

 

4. CONTROL

 

  • "Body Control" - The Pilates repertoires use controlled movements of different muscle groups. The benefit of Pilates is that it gives the best results without putting stress on the body and joints. Body Control teaches you how to move properly and achieve body symmetry while working major muscle groups. Pilates works the whole body in synergy, which is how we should be moving on a daily basis.

 

  • "Maintain Control" - The key to success is repetition. The main idea of Pilates exercises is to increase your flexibility and your strength. If you don’t have enough strength, never hesitate to ask for help. It is your instructor’s job to keep participants safe. Pilates is not the quantity but the quality of movement.

 

"Make up your mind that you will perform your Pilates movements 10 minutes (each day) without fail." Joseph Pilates

 

5. BODY AWARENESS

 

Body Awareness is being sensitive to the movement of your body. Beginning with an awareness of the body, it creates an environment that stimulates the mind-body connection. An education in body awareness changes your mind-set and body shape by educating you in daily life. A strong torso keeps the body symmetrical and in good alignment. Pilates is a perfect system to build strength for the core by using the deep muscles.

 

"Each muscle may cooperatively and loyally aid in the uniform development of all our muscles." Joseph Pilates 

 

6. EFFICIENT

 

The benefit of efficiency is to teach you how to properly exercise with a minimum amount of time. Very few exercises can help your body become more efficient in its movement. By practicing Pilates on a regular basis your body will move in a much safer and more efficient manner.

 

"If at the age of 30 you are stiff and out of shape, you are old. If at 60 you are supple and strong then you are young.” Joseph Pilates

 

7. PRECISION

 

Pilates Precision has a purpose for every movement; it's about proper form for safe, effective results. Knowledge of the basic Pilates moves is needed for every level or else injury may occur while exercising. These days Pilates is very useful in rehabilitation centers with physical therapy programs helping to speed recovery from injuries or surgeries. This is one of the best fitness programs ever developed by man.

 

"Designed to give you suppleness, grace and skill that will be unmistakably reflected  in the way you walk, the way you play and in the way you work." Joseph Pilates

 

8. FLOW

 

Flow, like all principals of Pilates, demonstrates itself both physically and mentally. You will have exercises dedicated to memory: the order, exercise, and breathing patterns. Pilates exercise is done in a flowing manner. Flexibility, elegance, and simplicity are goals applied to all movements. You hardly ever stop to hold the pose. By focusing the guiding principle of flow, the energy of transitional move flows evenly throughout the whole body.

 

“I must be right. Never an aspirin. Never injured a day in my life.  The whole country, the whole world, should be doing my exercises.  They'd be happier." Joseph Pilates, in 1965, age 86

 

9. BALANCE

 

Pilates consists of a series of exercises in which it is very important to control the abdominal muscles and correct breathing pattern. Concentrating on fluid, accurate movements are the basic principles of this technique. Effectiveness is the main advantage of Pilates exercises; training the entire body and mind inspired by yoga, dancing, gymnastics, and physical therapy. The Pilates method is different because it brings not only physical but also psychological benefits.

 

"In ten sessions, you will feel the difference; in twenty you will see the difference, and in thirty you'll have a whole new body." Joseph Pilates

 

10. HARMONY

 

Pilates harmony is a pleasing effect produced by an arrangement of movements. Joseph Pilates developed a structure of movement focused on the mind-body relationship which lies at the heart of Pilates. Harmony is the culmination of the principles of awareness, balance, breathing, centering, control, concentration, precision, and flow. Harmony means when your session is completed, your body will feel re-energized.

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