In modern Pilates it is important to set the scene before starting a session. The principles focus on bringing your attention to good posture and correct breathing before you start. During a Pilates session you will be starting an exercise from a variety of positions.
By setting up the principles you establish good alignment and posture so you can execute the exercise efficiently and effectively. Once an exercise begins, the eight general principles are followed, the general principles of Pilates, when put together, make up a magical formula.
Modern Pilates has been developed in a user friendly way to teach students these principles. The eight Base Line Essential Principles are:-
and to the rhythm of your own breathingJoseph Pilates
Very important when starting Pilates. Learning to relax and recognise areas of tension that need to be released before you can start a session can be quite alien to most people. If the body retains tension you are most likely to recruit the wrong muscle groups. The areas we need to focus on most are the neck, shoulders and hip flexors as these tend to be troublesome areas where we hold tension subconsciously. Every exercise should be started by checking we are relaxed and free of tension.
During the sessions we will take you through three different ways of breathing focusing on diaphragmatic, thoracic and clavicular.
Focusing on the muscles of the pelvic floor and deep abdominals develops a strong core enabling the rest of the body to function efficiently. All actions initiate from the centre and flow outward to the extremities. Centring can be referred to as our powerhouse as it involves the use of all the core and pelvic stabilising muscles.
The eight principles are our interpretation of this principle as correct alignment is essential to the execution of any movement.
In Pilates we do not use any momentum or forced action. Control ensures all movements are smooth and therefore help in lengthening shortened muscles. The fact that we are moving slower means greater strength is gained and our endurance levels rise.
It is the mind itself that builds the body and that all important connection between mind and body comes from concentration. Thought precedes action so in every exercise the movement is executed following the thought process.
Every exercise starts with the principles. We then follow a sequence of movement which recruits the correct muscle groups resulting in correct execution of the exercise. Following precision ends in results.
Pilates requires smooth movement which is effortless but strong. This is achieved by keeping the speed and range continuous and full. If any excess force is applied, the muscle working shortens and we defeat the purpose.