Anyone who has taken a Pilates class knows that there’s more to Pilates than it being an excellent workout. The full body exercise incorporates the strength of mind and spirit, infusing the work out with intention and completeness. Founder of Pilates, Joseph Pilate, invented this concept he called “contrology”. In it there are 6 basic principles of integrating the mind-body-spirit approach.
- Control: Intensity matters less than being in control of your movements. Focusing your mind enough to have precise control over your muscles is vital.
- Concentration: In order to maintain the control over your muscles, you need to be 100 percent present, with complete focus on the movement and exercise at hand.
- Centering: The core is essential, often referred to as the Pilates Powerhouse. Bringing the focus to the center of the body allows all of the bodies’ muscles to function and develop more efficiently.
- Precision: Proper form means you get the most benefit out of the exercise. Each part of the body has an appropriate placement in relation to other body parts, meaning precise alignment is key to a successful workout.
- Flow: Developing a graceful approach to each movement can improve the workout. Allowing the energy to move through the body in a more even, fluid motion connects each body part.
- Breath: Controlled breathing means more thoroughly activated muscles. Many Pilate exercises also coordinate with the breath, making controlled breathing essential.