Pilates Philosophy

Performing Your Daily Activities with Minimum Effort and Maximum Pleasure

  • Strengthen and lengthen your muscles, simultaneously.
  • Mind-Body Connection.
  • Overall sense of well-being.
  • Strong Powerhouse.

6 Key Principles

  1. Centering
  2. Control
  3. Concentration
  4. Precision
  5. Breath
  6. Flow

The 6 Key Principles can be found in every exercise. In the beginning you are learning to Concentrate on the movement, while maintaining your Center with Control. As you progress with strength and flexibility, you become more Precise in the movement which allows you to focus on Breath and in turn create Flow. When all of the Principles are used in sync, the movement is effective and efficient! Hence more endurance, flexibility, energy and much more.

Quality v. Quantity

Joe Pilates believed doing less with more precision was beneficial to everyone. Why do 20 bad versions of an exercise than 10 or even 5 precise ones? When practiced with the precision and quality there is less opportunity for injury. There is no jarring impact on the joints and your mind and body have a chance to work together.

Joe PilatesThe statements above can all be used to describe what Pilates is, and what it can do for your body.

As a child, Joe Pilates was stricken with various ailments from asthma to rickets to rheumatic fever. These illnesses prompted him to take measures to strengthen his weak body. In the beginning this method was called, “The Art of Contrology”, or the study of complete control connecting the mind and body.

During WWI, Joe taught this Contrology method to fellow internees, and helped keep them healthy during the influenza epidemic (prior to WWI, Pilates was teaching and practicing the mat work). Towards the end of the war, Joe worked in a hospital on the Isle of Man, where he taught non-ambulatory patients to use Pilates. In order to adapt his methods to these immobile patients, Joe Pilates began to add springs to the beds, so he could work the patients while they rested their ailing limbs. This is where the Pilates “machines” or “apparatus” (even the rack) stem from. When used in conjunction with the Mat, which is essentially is the Heart and Soul of the work, one can see a whole new body.

Pilates in Philadelphia - 6 KeysThe center of all of Pilates comes from the “POWERHOUSE”. The Powerhouse consists of all the abdominal muscles, your back, your bottom and into your inner/outer thighs. I like to think of it like wearing a seat-belt; I never drive without it because of safety. The Powerhouse works in the same way.

For example, let’s say you are lying on your back with your head down, and you lift your legs up to 90. If you weak or have never had any pilates training, most likely you will feel your abdominals “pooch” out, and your back arch because your powerhouse is not engaged. How high do your legs have to be without your powerhouse coming out? Try to reach your belly button to your spine as you extend your legs, and you will be moving your legs from your center; you are safe since you have on your “seat-belt”.