Every exercise program has a mission. Different forms of exercise operate on different beliefs or principles. Pilates is no different. Joseph Pilates believed that your mental health depended on a strong physical body. This is what he learned from his classical Greek studies. He believed the opposite was also true, that your body couldn’t be truly strong and healthy unless your mind was fit as well.
You may have noticed this in your own life.
When you feel weak mentally you have very little desire to exercise. You rationalize in your weakened mental state that you can wait until another day to exercise. You physically just don’t feel as good as you usually do.
You might have experienced the opposite relationship. When you suffer some physical injury your mental health seems to decline. You aren’t as mentally sharp and capable when you are physically out of shape and unfit.
Taking advantage of this relationship is the main focus of Pilates. If your mind and body influence each other, then strengthening both can help your overall well-being. Joseph Pilates believed this was possible by developing exercises that focused on 6 basic principles.
Have you ever been exercising and you let your mind wander? This may have led to an injury. At best, a lack of concentration leads to poor form and poor results. Pilates concentrates on mind-body awareness. This means you pay special attention to each movement and exercise and concentrate on form and precision of movements.
Strengthening your core is the focus of this ebook. Pilates is perfect for developing a healthy core because centering is a main principle of this practice. Centering in Pilates means paying attention to your powerhouse, otherwise known as your core. Most physical movements are influenced or controlled by your core muscles, so strengthening this important center of your body leads to better overall physical performance.
A lack of control is haphazard and reckless. Pilates is not. You want to focus on control and concentration rather than an extremely high number of repetitions. Perform each exercise correctly and control your movements.
Many exercise programs understand that breathing properly is important for the best results. Pilates is the same. You will learn when and how to inhale and exhale during specific movements for the most health benefits.
As a beginner to Pilates, you are probably not going to be precise in your movements at first. The idea is to work for precision, even if you never achieve it. Precision here means proper form.
Movements should be graceful. You should slowly move from one movement to the next. This can be difficult as a beginner, so just understand that you will eventually be able to flow your body through these exercises and become as graceful as a dancer.
Combine these 6 principles and you can improve your core strength, flexibility and balance. You will find your mental energy and capabilities also improve. All your physical performances will benefit.