The eight guiding principles of Body Control Pilates
Correctly aligning the bones of the body encourages good movement patterns, breathing and stability. Good alignment also ensures movement through the best part of a joint thus reducing undue stress.
Good Pilates require precise, flowing movements, which in turns requires concentration and being mindful of what is happening throughout the whole body.
Pilates exercises are dynamic and should flow from start to finish from the tip of the toes to the top of the head.
Breathing is obviously essential to life but the muscles involved in breathing are also important for controlling posture. Effective breathing can aid good movement.
Centring is the use of the deep core muscles to help control and stabilise movement. This is the 'core strength' that is often talked about and it's not just about the six-pack! Good movement comes from a strong centre. Strong here refers to the flexibility of the response to the work that needs to be done – the ability to grade the recruitment of muscles. It's not an all-or-nothing response but more like a dimmer switch.
We are not all naturally coordinated but practice does make perfect! Practising any movement purposefully, with precision and control, will soon make it seem easy.
Relaxation of body and mind are an important outcome for a Pilates class. Focusing on releasing unwanted tension during movement has the benefits of relaxing the body and clearing the mind of noise of daily life.
Regular practice of Pilates can improve stamina. The ideal workout will be balanced, working the whole body and gradually building endurance. As things start to feel easy, more challenges are built in, so building up stamina and strength.