Pilates deals with the body as an entity and develops strong and flexible muscles in general, instead of letting muscular groups strengthen individually and thus swell out antiesthetically. Basic characteristic of this method is muscular control without tension and fatigue. That way the physically natural flow and pace of the body is released; that way the muscles are relaxed without losing their target. Breathing effortless and naturally is an integral part of each exercise.
The centre of the body – abdominal area, waist, hips and buttocks – is the core of all movements. All energy needed for every movement is generated from there and circulates towards the limbs. Pilates builds up stability in the torso and pelvis, improves the way our spine moves and provides us with better and greater control of our muscles. As a result, injuries are avoided and various body parts in any pain (back, waist, neck etc) are relieved.
Difficulty in exercises is gradually increased in order for the muscles to get ready properly. That way the goal, which is working out the whole body with no unnecessary movements and effort, is achieved and our entire being meets its healthiness.
Origin and principals of Pilates
In the beginning of the 20th century, Joseph Pilates, of German ancestry, formulated the “art of contrology” or muscular control. Later on, this method was named after him.
The method was aiming at gaining a strong, flexible and healthy body with emphasis in harmony and symmetry. He managed to merge the western and eastern philosophy regarding body theory. Pilates believed that mind controls the muscular system and that endless repetitions of meaningless exercises rather damage than do good.
The principals of Pilates are rules that we consciously need to follow.
Within principals like “concentration, control, obedience, movement flow, accuracy, alignment, coordination”, we can improve our fitness and agility. “Balance between body and mind means …conscious control of all muscular movements.” J.Pilates