This week Olistica Pilates presented the ‘Get More’ Workshop, the workshop was designed to aid understanding of the method giving a bit of an overview to a select group of dedicated clients.I was nervous to present the class not only teaching the mechanical function of the exercises but to go a step deeper touching on the mind body connection and benefits of Pilates to stress management and as a tool to relax. The workshop started with an in depth discussion of the Pilates method and overview of the six main principles. We then considered the benefits of the principles in conjunction with the connection between mind and body. Followed by a Pilates class putting the theory to the test.

To recap for those who came and anyone who is interested here is a summary of the six principles of Pilates:

Control – Is the first and potentially most important principle of Pilates – to have control is to be deeply aware of our body and be able to control it’s functional both physically and mentally. All Pilates exercises require full control both in mind and body.

Concentration – To solely concentrate on the physical state can simultaneously de-stress the mind. By concentrating on each part of the exercise, each tiny movement both superficial muscles (the ones that look nice) and stabilisers (the small muscles which support the pretty ones) become much stronger. By concentrating on the form of each tiny movement you can ensure quality in movement and a high quality functional exercise which promotes core strength, good posture and alignment through the body.  To be completely present during the workout is a freeing experience.

Breath – breathing is an important aspect of Pilates as important as the exercises themselves. Generally speaking we inhale to prepare for the exercise and exhale to execute it. this enables us to deepen the connection with our core, improve the flow and ease of movement using a natural timing and rhythm. Proper breathing oxygenates the blood, increases circulation and flexibility.

Flow – Pilates has a beautiful dance like quality, each movement flows from one to the next feeling seamless, the transition from one exercise to the next is smooth and deliberate it is as though the transition is part of the workout – holding good posture throughout engaging the core.

Centring – everything stems from the core, sometimes referred to as the ‘powerhouse’. In Pilates we work outwardly from our core each exercise centres on a strong functional core, holding our alignment and form. Our core consists of our abdominals, lower back muses and buttocks.

Precision – ‘Honour every movement’ Joseph Pilates. Each exercise has a specific purpose and goal, your method should reflect precision focusing on the quality of movement, your form and pull all of the principles of Pilates together; control, concentration , breath, flow, centring and precision.

I am incredibly passionate about Pilates, I can never learn enough I constantly revisit the Six Principles learning a little more from my own practice each day. More recently I have been exploring the mind body connection I am looking forward to sharing this with you.

Inhale, Exhale, Concentrate, Repeat xx