Joseph Pilates teaches a mat class in Upstate New York
Joseph Pilates teaches a mat class in Upstate New York

"After 10 hours, you  feel  the difference, after 20 hours you see the difference, and after 30 hours you have a whole new body."

Joseph Pilates

Principles of the Pilates Method

The Pilates method is a mind-body conditioning program which optimizes movements, thus requiring less effort, and allowing for flowing, balanced movement. We strive to access our body's full potential, utilizing its own incredible system of strength, muscle flexibility and coordination. The method requires us to pay close attention to our POSTURE and BODY MECHANICS. In order to achieve these goals, the principles of CONTROLCENTERINGCONCENTRATIONPRECISIONFLOWING MOVEMENTS, and OPTIMAL BREATHING form the main components of our work. 


Active inhalation and exhalation correlates directly to trunk stability as the muscles of respiration are connected to the ribs, spine and pelvic floor, and also play a large role in postural control. Correct breathing is a foundation of all Pilates exercises. 

Pilates Method Concepts

Throughout a Pilates workout, the main stabilizer muscles of the trunk, referred to as the 'POWERHOUSE'are specifically focused on and activated before any movement is initialized. The 'POWERHOUSE' is formed like a box of a number of stabilizing muscles between and around the spine, between the lower section of the ribs and the line across the hips, the most important of which being the transversus abdominis and also including, among others, the multifidus, diaphragm, intercostals, obliques, gluteal group and pelvic floor. This concept, when properly utilized in each Pilates exercise, achieves a stable base from which to work, enhances coordination between core areas, and supports the spine during movement. The shoulder girdle receives special focus in order to properly stabilize and enhance quality movement around the upper limbs.  In Pilates Class verbal and tactile cues are used to help locate and work with these important muscles. Visualisation helps access trunk-body alignment and symmetry.


The main emphasis of a particular movement can be allocated between core control, isolated movement, articulation of the spine and shoulder girdle organization. Most Pilates exercises work on two or more of these themes simultaneously. 


In Pilates practice, we strive to work within our individual ability, never forcing a movement using momentum. Challenging moves using arms, legs or both, originate in the Powerhouse, and incorporate an effective breathing pattern to aid us. We learn to listen to our bodies and avoid excessive tension. Efficiency in movement improves