The central aim of Pilates is to attempt to create a fusion of mind and body so that without even engaging the mind, the body will move with economy, grace, and balance. Correct postural alignment of the skeletal structure is crucial to the practice of Pilates, not only to get the best out of the exercise but also to prevent injury. Achieving optimal alignment starts with positioning the pelvis, ribcage, shoulder girdle, and head in a neutral alignment with respect to each other, and then utilising all the stabilisation muscles to maintain that alignment while performing the exercises.
Breathing is a significant component of the Pilates method, and Joseph Pilates believed in circulating the blood so that it could awaken all the cells in the body and carry away the wastes related to fatigue. “Squeeze out the lungs as you would wring a wet towel dry,” and “Even if you follow no other instructions, learn to breathe correctly” are words that he is reported to have used quite frequently.
Joseph Pilates called the huge group of muscles in the center of the body encompassing the abdomen, lower back, hips, and buttocks – the “powerhouse” also known as the “core”. All energy for Pilates exercises is said to begin from the powerhouse and flow outward to the limbs with full muscle control which results in no sloppy, uncontrolled movements.
Movement is expected to be kept continuous between exercises through the use of appropriate transitions. Once precision has been achieved, the exercises are intended to flow within and into each other which in turn builds strength and stamina.
Pilates is based around seven principles