The Eight Principles
Concentration:The body and mind work together which helps develop a greater body awareness and control. Through concentration and focus on the exercise performed everyday movements will improve.
Relaxation: Relaxation of the mind and body is essential as it allows the release of tension within the body. Focusing on each movement and areas of tension will result in your mind feeling relaxed and free from stress and the switching off of over used muscles.
Alignment: Correct aligning of the body encourages the joint and tissues to move to their natural neutral zone so joints remain healthy. Throughout each movement correct alignment is essential as precision of movement is key to good Pilates practice.
Breathing: In Pilates you learn how to breath more effectively whilst moving. Synchronising the breath to movements is a key part of Pilates as it helps the body and mind relax, recharge and focus.
Centring: Pilates focuses on maintaining support and control of the body as movement takes place; It requires deep core muscles to stabilise movements and keep the body centred.
Coordination: As you focus on the quality and detail of each movement coordination, control, mobility, strength and efficiency of your whole body is improved.
Flow: In order to perform the exercises correctly your movements need to be controlled, efficient and flowing. You will learn how to move the spine bone by bone and how to mobilise your joints; this results in your muscles being longer, leaner and stronger. When the exercises are performed correctly your movements will be smooth allowing one move to flow into the next.
Stamina to build repetition: Pilates exercises are performed on a low number of repetitions as you focus on the quality and detail of each move. As you become more advanced you can try more challenging exercises. If you use the exercises on a regular basis you will build muscular endurance and stamina.