The Six Key Principles of the Pilates Method


Centering is the main focus point of the Pilates Method. All the work starts from and is sustained through the center. Joseph Pilates called this center your “Powerhouse.” We work around the center line of the body. Two straight lines run through and perpendicular to this center line: one from shoulder to shoulder; and one hip to hip. We call this the frame or box. This framework centers the body in all actions.


To fully benefit from the workout, the exercises are executed with focused concentration. It is the mind that guides the body. The exercises are not done haphazardly or on autopilot. We center the mind with the body in action. We bring five aspects of the mind into the workout: intelligence; intuition; imagination; will; and memory.


When the work is done from the center and with full concentration, you are in control of the movements performed. We do not let habit- most often wrong- or gravity take over. Joseph Pilates called his method “Art of Contrology.”


The exercises were designed with a precise goal in mind to reach the full benefit of each and every exercise. You must pay the utmost attention to detail. All exercises have a clear structure, a precise form, and an optimal dynamic. Work with quality instead of quantity.


The exercises are done with the rhythm of the breath (and heartbeat). We inhale on the point of effort to send fresh oxygen to the muscles when they most need it. (However, this is not always a must.) We stress the exhalation; wring all the stale air out of the lungs, like you would “wring a wet towel dry.”


The full workout is a flowing succession of exercises performed with vigorous dynamics. There is a minimum of movement, especially in the transitions, for a maximum flow.