The principles are the foundation of the practice and philosophy.

The wonderful thing about Pilates is that you never perfect the practice. As with life, there is always a new challenge or opportunity to improve.

I’ve been introducing the Pilates principles at the start of our practice to help you develop body awareness, good form and a broader understanding of the practice.

Keep the principles in mind as you move forward. It will help you build the strength, flexibility and connections needed to do the exercises more precisely – and will ultimately, help you build a balanced body and life.

Don’t be scared to play around a bit to figure out what you need to do to find more length, more stability or a deeper connection. For instance, changing your breath, the way you initiate movement or your focus can change how you experience a movement or your entire practice.

The 9 Pilates Principles are summarized below for your reference. I’ll continue to refer to the principles in the community mat classes so that they become second nature to you.

9 Pilates Principles

1/ Breath: Use breath to increase focus and improve oxygen levels and lung capacity

2/ Concentration: Focus to improve form and increase precision of movement

3/ Control: Maintain form, alignment and level of effort during the whole movement.

4/ Centering: Develop a strong, stable and flexible core.

5/ Precision: Perform exercises with optimum form and right level of effort. [unconscious competence]

6/ Balanced Muscle Development: Practice for uniform development of all muscles.

7/ Rhythm and Flow: Create smooth, graceful and functional movements.

8/ Whole Body Movement: Integrate mind, body and spirit to create balance in life.

9/ Relaxation: Find the right balance between effort and relaxation in every movement.

“Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness. Our interpretation of physical fitness is the attainment and maintenance of a uniformly developed body with a sound mind fully capable of naturally, easily and satisfactorily performing our many and varied daily tasks with spontaneous zest and pleasure. To achieve the highest accomplishments within the scope of our capabilities in all walks of life, we must constantly strive to acquire strong, healthy bodies and develop our minds to the limit of our ability.”

~Joseph Hubertus Pilates

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