The Pilates Principles: They maketh the Method
The six original principles of the Pilates Method are:
BREATHING – CENTREING – CONTROL – CONCENTRATION – FLOW – PRECISION
The Pilates Method is firmly founded in this set of principles that make the method what it is. The principles of the Pilates method not only bind the various Pilates method approaches together but the principles are the overriding philosophy bequeathed to us by the legendary Joseph Pilates.
This is the fifth of six articles where we are examining these Principles in greater depth so as to offer you a richer understanding of how they will guide you in your quest for Pilates health and happiness.
Remember, we are looking at the principles given in alphabetical order – they are all as important as each other!
Integrating the principle of flow to movement makes it continuous and smooth, uninterrupted and graceful.
Flowing movement requires a deep understanding of the movement and a rhythmic application of muscle sequencing that will be achieved from consistent practice. No matter what pace or level you are working at aim to make the Pilates movements flowing and controlled rather than jerky or fragmented.
A question that is often asked is “what is the difference between yoga and Pilates?” Well, the flowing, transitional movement practice of Pilates is one point. Rarely would you ever hold a pose in Pilates and the focus is on continuous movement, albeit with control and deep concentration. The closest yoga comparison would be Vinyasa flow, however Pilates is a method housed in science and the physical, and here the controlled flow of movement to allow for pace and dynamic is essential.
As a side note I like this quote by Pilates luminary Brooke Siler,
Pilates and yoga are like third cousins once removed. They share a few family traits but are different tribes.
Working on flowing movement during your Pilates exercises includes using transitions to move from one to the next – the transitions becoming exercises in themselves. Flow will also come from having an order of exercises to work through, which should be applicable to your current level of practice and your own needs; using only the necessary repetitions so that you maintain good form throughout; and keeping a mental rhythmic tempo.
This Detox sequence – great for this time of the year – shows how the exercises can flow calmly into each other using focus and transitions. Try it with the emphasis on how well you can keep the rhythm and flow going.
Working with flow and fluidity will give you a seamless, meditative type movement experience of constant motion that will bring endless benefits of circulation, energy, control and stress-free living.