9. Increases Awareness – Body/Mind Connection
Joseph Pilates was adamant that Pilates, or Contrology as he called it, was about “the complete coordination of body, mind, and spirit.” This is one of the secrets of Pilates exercise: we practice each movement with total attention. When we exercise in this way, the body and mind unite to bring forth the most benefit possible from each exercise. The Pilates principles — centering, concentration, control, precision, breath, and flow — are key concepts that we use to integrate body and mind.
One of the things that almost always happens in a Pilates class is that students move too quickly through the exercises. Even as instructors count to keep a pace or flow for the class, people speed up even without realizing it. What do we get when we speed up? Yes, that’s right, momentum. While momentum might make exercises seem easier, using propulsion to get up off the floor or swing our legs behind us, speed degrades the quality of movement. Some of the most difficult Pilates moves are so because they are done slowly, with precision. As a Pilates instructor, if I had to choose one principle on which to build my Pilates practice, it would be precision.
Make Joseph Pilates (see below) proud…and execute your movements with precision and concentration in order to build beautiful, strong and lean bodies!