Pilates' work is concerned with the process itself - experiencing all movement from the inside out by focusing on the present moment instead of placing the entire emphasis upon "doing". Through continuous involvement in the process of movement, the goal is reached by natural evolution, in contrast to a forced result.
The basic principles of Pilates conditioning are to make people more aware of their bodies as single integrated units, to improve alignment and breathing, and to increase the efficiency of movement. Unlike other exercise programs, the Pilates Method does not require the mindless repetition of boring exercises that most people tire of quickly and subsequently abandon. The method consists of a sequence of carefully performed movements; some carried out on specially designed equipment. Each exercise is designed to stretch and strengthen the muscles involved, opening the joints and releasing tension. There is a specific breathing pattern for each exercise to assist in directing energy to those areas while relaxing the rest of the body.
The Pilates Method works many of the deeper muscles together, improving coordination and balance to achieve efficient and graceful movement. Rather than pursuing the unrealistic goal of having an ideal or perfect body, the practitioner develops a healthy self-image, through the attainment of better posture, proper coordination, and improved flexibility. The method requires more personal supervision than other exercise programs and is therefore safer and more effective.
It concentrates on alignment, lengthening all of the muscles of the body into a balanced whole, and building endurance and strength without putting undue stress on the lungs and heart. Ahead of its time when it originated over 70 years ago, this resistance control exercise is unlike so many of the fitness programs popularized over the last few decades that promoted a harmful, marathon approach to body conditioning. The longevity of the Pilates Method has given it a track record of consistent, proven results. As an age of moderation approaches, the Pilates Method is an idea whose time has come... again.
Jasmyn S, Agneaux