Did you know you could be practicing Pilates everyday before you walk out the door? Becoming more functionally sound so that you can be moving with more freedom and ease, means applying your Pilates knowledge during the hours and days you're NOT at Pilates. Applying the principles and postural alignments you've be learning while at work, at home, at play and even while brushing your teeth or sitting in the car.
The idea that executing Pilates exercises daily to live more spiritually, physically and mentally sound actually stems from its principles at the core of the exercises Joseph Pilates designed over 100 years ago. Looking at it from this perspective then, Pilates isn’t just a form of fitness but is truly a way of living. Pilates can be found in your everyday living by taking a few moments to breathe and integrate the principles of the movements into your lifestyle, wherever life takes you.
Let's review the principles of Pilates in the order I personally like to work from, and how each principle leads to the other and back again:
BREATHING: Not only crucial to living but fundamentally supports the body—from our cells and musculoskeletal system. Focusing on our breathe helps relieve stress and elevate the spirit by calming the mind with a singular concentration of connecting the mind to the body.
CONCENTRATION: Focused awareness of the breath and additionally, body control with movements, directs the body to try to override the body’s less functional, and often faulty, natural tendencies. Applying concentration to our body away from the external centers us as a whole.
CENTERING: Understanding and using focused postural alignment and breathe, helps us integrate and move from our core.This means the ability to move from spine and pelvis, allowing for better mobilization of the joints with strength and stabilization.
CONTROL: Regulating the execution of movements with time and practice will help our bodies move proficiently. Mindfully moving with control leads to minimum excessive tension and longer or more consecutive repetitions with precision.
PRECISION: With concentrated, centered and controlled movements comes the precision to not only aid in each exercise being executed, as well as increase muscle function throughout the whole body (kinetic chain), but also intensifies and increases the challenge of sustaining accuracy in the movement. Precision allows for progressive development of more complicated multi-dimensional, multi-integrated moves without sacrificing stability.
FLOW: The fluidity and continuity to follow through each movement, AND to transition into multiple movements together or consecutively without sacrifice to any of the above.
All of these principles can enhance our overall state of being, especially if we learn to integrate them into our daily living and movements.
These core concepts and principles are what I hope all students can learn in order to translate Pilates into our daily living. Join me as I share these gifts of Pilates with you as we explore everyday activities that could improve your daily Pilates study, simply by being more aware and applying one or more of these principles. Be sure to subscribe to my blog and join the community for tips, video tutorials and to review everyday moves from a whole new perspective. If you haven't already check out my tutorial on breathing, be sure to watch that next! Then share with your friends, co-workers, and family to join you. Its the right thing to do!