The principles of Pilates consist of concentration, control, centering, flow or efficiency of movement, precision and breathing.

Concentration

Pilates demands intense focus: You have to concentrate on what you’re doing all the time. And you must concentrate on your entire body for smooth movements.

Control

“Contrology” was Joseph Pilates’ preferred name for his method and it is based on the idea of muscle control. Nothing about the Pilates Method is haphazard. The reason you need to concentrate so thoroughly is so you can be in control of every aspect of every moment.

Centering

In order for the practitioner to attain control of their body they must have a starting place: the center. The center is the focal point of the Pilates Method.

Flow or efficiency of movement

Pilates aims for elegant sufficiency of movement, creating flow through the use of appropriate transitions. Once precision has been achieved, the exercises are intended to flow within and into each other in order to build strength and stamina. In other words, the Pilates technique asserts that physical energy exerted from the center should coordinate movements of the extremities: Pilates is flowing movement outward from a strong core.

Precision

Precision is essential to correct Pilates: concentrate on the correct movements each time you exercise, lest you do them improperly and thus lose all the vital benefits of their value. The focus is on doing one precise and perfect movement, rather than many half-hearted ones.

Breathing

Pilates breathing is described as a posterior lateral breathing, meaning that the patient is instructed to breathe deep into the back and sides of his or her rib cage. When patients exhale, they are instructed to note the engagement of their deep abdominal and pelvic floor muscles and maintain this engagement as they inhale.