If you are a beginner or new to Pilates, a great way to start is to familiarise yourself with the Six Principals of Pilates. This will really help prepare you for your first class and enhance your experience of Pilates.
Controlling your breath with deep exhalations as you perform each exercise helps activate your muscles and keep you focused. It is the link between the body, mind and spirit. It promotes awareness and attention and can enhance natural movement and relaxation.
By paying attention to the muscles of your centre which is known as the “Pilates Powerhouse” this will help all your bodies muscles perform and develop more efficiently, all movement should originate from the centre. The centre consists of the lower back, abdomen and the pelvis.
By focusing your mind body awareness on the purpose of the exercise, the better connection you establish with your body and the more benefits you gain from workouts. It is better to exercise slowly and precisely, than with incorrect form or posture. Concentration on breath will also encourage focus and flowing rhythm to the exercise.
In Pilates, slow and steady wins the race. Control refers to the quality of the movement performed; it is only improved through practise. Control rather than intensity and repetition is key to performing the exercise correctly. All exercises should be performed with control and precision to gain maximum benefits.
Precision is the key element which distinguishes Pilates from any other forms of exercise. Proper form is essential to ensure you gain the most benefit and keep your body healthy. The movements are felt more predominately through small corrections to alignment and execution.
Each Pilates motion should be smooth and graceful. Flow should be present in the movement; the movement should appear fluid and effortless. Try to create the grace of a dancer or of a gymnastic in your practise.