What is Pilates?

Pilates is not  just exercise. Pilates is not just a random choice of particular movement.

Pilates is a system of physical and mental conditioning that enhances your physical strength, flexibility and coordination as well as reduces stress, improves mental focus, and fosters an improved sense of well-being.

Pilates can be for anyone and everyone.

It is the best method to strengthen your core.
At first, it increases your body awareness and your stamina.
You will discover your body and will be surprised by the encounters.

It helps to correct your posture by working on the very deep layers of your body.
It prevents injuries and can also be used for rehabilitation after accident or surgery.
On top of it, it defines long and lean muscles, a graceful way of walking and give you the body you always dreamed.

From it’s creator Joseph Pilates, the original philosophy and body conditioning method was called “contrology” with 6 key areas of focus:


Your practise will be infinitely more effective  as they combine to give you suppleness, natural grace and skill.

Below is an animated History of Pilates:

Six Essential Principles of Pilates

Originally, the six essential principles of Pilates were developed by the Elders of Joseph Pilates in an effort to preserve and spread his unique method.

Pilates is an integrated mind body spirit approach – discover these essential principles of the traditional method and increase your benefit from his sophisticated exercise.

1. Centering : All Pilates exercises are energized and powered from the center, every movement begins and ends with the center. This is the key that some people called the “PowerHouse” or Core.

2. Concentration : Create body awareness to your practice by bringing full attention to each exercise to work efficiently, effectively and with intention.

3. Control : Every exercise is to be performed with full body control, it is all about consciousness of movement.

4. Precision : Details matter when practicing Pilates, every movement has a purpose, exercise is to be performed with focus. This is the beauty of Pilates and the reason why we only have to do 8-10 repetitions rather than 30.

5. Breath : Synchronising your breath with movement to flow through your practice, encouraged full and intentional breathing in life and in exercise. This breathing is also important in the core engagement as well.

6. Flow : Fluidity, grace and ease are applied to all exercises, Pilates is completed through a gentle flow.When done it right less is more, we work smarter not harder.  Keep these 6 principles in mind to change and benefit your practice more effectively.

The Art of Breathing

“Breathing is the first act of life and the last(… ) Above all learn to breathe correctly”
Joseph Pilates ‘Return to Life Through Contrology’ (1960)

So how do you breathe and why is breathing so important while practising ?

Many of us are habitually shallows breathers – inhaling into the tops of our lungs, up into the chest. Stress also causes us to breath shallowly, and to overuse the muscles in our neck and shoulders instead of using our diaphragm (breathing muscle) and abdomen to breath deeply.

Pilates breathing is smooth controlled inhale and exhale encouraging what we called a three-dimensional patters breathing.

As you inhale, expand the rib cage in all directions without neglecting anterior, lateral or posterior portions. As you exhale the rib cage closes in and down.

Commonly called lateral breathing, I would like you to think as your ribs like an accordion expanding as you breathe in and closing together as you breathe out. Keeping this image in mind helps you to have more awareness especially when you begin practising.

Correct breathing is important throughout your workout as it promotes effective oxygenation of the blood, avoid unnecessary tension and also helps to engage your core. There is some exercises, where breathing is most important to focus on. On the Mat, the hundred, Spine Stretch Forward, and Mermaid are considered “Breathing” exercices. Likewise, the hundred, Coordination, Down Stretch, Snake and Twist on the Reformer are breathing exercises as well.

Most importantly, don’t overthink it, otherwise it might become overwhelming. This is something I have been noticed with my students as I teach them the way to apply that new breathing pattern, my advice will be at first to let them observe their natural way of breathing.

From there I let them connecting their breath through the movements and assists the Flow by bringing awareness step by step focusing on a complete exhalation as it can also help activate the deep muscles of the body. The inhale will take care of itself with patience and practice it will become second nature!

The Importance of Your Core

Call it the powerhouse, core … your energetic center should be the center of attention. This is because where motion starts in every act you do – whether hitting a tennis ball or mopping the floor – is linked to it.
So what is your core ?

Think it as if you were a tree;
As simple as a tree needs a solid trunk to support his branches, your body need a solid center to support it’s upper and lower limbs.

It is not just about building your six pack…
It trains the muscles in your pelvis, lover back, hips, and abdomen to work in harmony.

This leads to better balance and stability, whether in the surf or in daily activities. In fact, most sports and other physical activities depend on stable core muscles.

It also helps to prevent injuries, back pain,  and slouching posture.

Today, the benefits of a strong core are essential.