Focus and concentration promote the mind-body connection. As you focus and become mindful of each body movement, you receive optimum physical value from each movement as well as enhance your body awareness and aero-pathways.
During your Pilates workout, you should consciously bring your focus to the center of your body. The center of your torso is referred to as the "powerhouse," from which all strength for exercise is delivered. We activate our powerhouse consistently by working in a neutral spine position, firing our back muscles and abdominals at the same time and keeping the spine in a safe, natural curvature.
The Pilates method is based on mental concentration, including proper, safe and complete muscle control. With proper control, you utilize the exact and correct form, leaving no part of your body unattended. Executing one exercise with deliberate intention is more important than completing more repetitions with sloppier form. For this reason, our highly trained Pilates For Life instructors provide detailed instructions to our devotees on all movements.
From head to toes, Pilates method promotes good postural alignment, and awareness of the placement of all parts of your body. During your session, it is important to be aware of the position of your head, neck, spine and pelvis to ensure proper breathing and technique. Ideal posture is essential for proper daily function of not only muscles and joints but organs and internal health. Disruption of alignment leads to pain, accelerated wear and tear, muscular imbalances and energy drain. Working in proper alignment reinforces the muscles that will learn to support a balanced posture.
There is a special breathing technique we use in Pilates that allows us to maintain a contraction of the abs throughout an exercise. It is called lateral breathing. In lateral breathing we breath deeply, all the way down the spine and into the pelvic bowl, but emphasize expanding the breath into the back and sides of the ribcage. When the abs are pulled in properly, they protect the spine and act like a supportive corset for the whole trunk. Knowing how to breath well while keeping the abs contracted gives us extra support throughout an exercise.