Pilates - A Unique Form Of Exercise

Pilates is a form of exercise that was developed by Joseph Pilates. It focuses on strengthening the body through core strength, flexibility, and awareness. It promotes efficient and graceful movements in practitioner.

Six Principles

At the heart of Pilates, there are six principles -

  • Centering: In Pilates, all the exercises are sourced from the center. The area between the lower ribs and the pubic bone is considered the powerhouse area. One has to physically bring the focus to the center of the body to derive all the benefits from the workout.
  • Control: The exercises are to be done with complete muscle control.
  • Flow: These exercises are done in a flowing manner. This helps promote flexibility and grace in movements. When the exercises are done in a flowing manner, it helps to provide a smooth and even flow of energy in the body.
  • Breath: these exercises are done in coordination with breath. Breathing properly is the key to deriving the benefits from these exercises.
  • Precision: awareness has to be sustained throughout various movements. With awareness you will be able to practice with precision.
  • Concentration: in order to derive the maximum benefit from these exercises, one needs total concentration and commitment.

This form of exercise always emphasizes quality over quantity. It is believed that if the exercises are done with precision and concentration, they will give you better results.

Focus On Core Strength

What set Pilates apart from other forms of exercises are its emphasis on the six principles and the focus on core strength and torso stability? Many physical trainers now see that developing the core strength is the key to overall body strength. In Pilates, we find that the focus on the core strength is from the very beginning.

The core muscles refer to the deep, internal muscles of the abdomen and back. When your core is strengthened, your overall body will be strengthened. Moreover, it will also help strengthen your back. Those who have back problems can greatly benefit from these core strengthening exercises.

Pilates And Yoga

A look at various Pilates exercises shows us an uncanny resemblance to yoga. However, they are two different things but complementary to each other.

Yoga aims to unite the body and the soul. It helps to strengthen both the body and the mind. Yoga includes postures (asanas), breathing techniques and meditation to strengthen the body, increase flexibility, enhance concentration, and balance the mind. It has been observed that people who practice yoga feel more fit, energetic, and not to forget, more happy and peaceful.

Yoga exercises promote overall strengthening of the body and mind. The Pilates exercise also focus on strengthening the abdominal muscles, improving flexibility, strengthening the spine, and providing overall strength.

Since both these forms of exercises are so beneficial, many people are incorporating both these exercises in their workout plan. When you use both the techniques you are more likely to reach your goals.

Moreover, if you combine yoga & food approach with Pilates you are more likely to derive greater benefits. In fact, you will be taking a holistic approach to your health and well being (both physical and emotional).

More and more people are today combining yoga and Pilates techniques to derive benefits from both these forms of exercises. They not only lead a stress-less life but also a healthy one.