Fun Fact – Did you know that Joseph Pilates developed his Pilates exercises while he was in a
detention center during the First World War? What a great use of time. In light of this it may
surprise you to learn that Joseph Pilates didn’t actually write them.
The 6 Pilates principles (Breath, Concentration, Control, Precision, Centre and Flow) were
actually created by Joseph’s students. They condensed his theories into 6 simple ideas to
preserve and make his method accessible for future generations of students.
The 6 essential principles are important to keep in mind as you begin your Pilates journey or
dive deeper into your practice.
Joseph Pilates originally called his work Contrology. He considered this to be a
body/mind/spirit approach to movement founded on the integrative effect of principles such as
centering, concentration, control, precision, breath, and flow. Whether you are working out on
a mat or using Pilates equipment, like the reformer or cadillac, these basic principles infuse
each exercise with intention and fullness of expression.
By focusing on your mind-body awareness, the better connection you establish with your body, and therefore the more benefits you gain from your workouts. It’s better to do each exercise slowly and precisely, than with incorrect form or posture.
By paying attention to the muscles of the core (the Pilates Powerhouse), you will help all of
your bodies’ muscles function and develop more efficiently.
In Pilates, slow and steady wins the race. Control, rather than intensity or repetition, is key to
performing the exercises correctly. All movements should be performed with precision, to gain
the maximum benefits.
Controlling your breath with deep exhalations as you perform each exercise helps activate your
muscles and keep you focused.
Practice makes perfect. Proper form is essential to ensure you gain the most benefit and keep
your body healthy.
Each Pilates motion should be smooth and graceful. Try to create the grace of a dancer or a
gymnast in your practice.