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Principles of Pilates

The Principles of Pilates are important and always the same, no matter who you talk to. The six principles are breathing, centring, concentration, control, precision and flow. With the integration of the principles you will master the moves with grace and fluidity.

The Principles of Pilates


In general people new to Pilates breath shallowly, only allowing air into the upper part of their lungs.

Joseph Pilates emphasised deep, full breaths, filling your lungs and letting your ribcage expand. Breathing correctly can promote awareness and attention, enhance natural movement and can calm the mind. Coordinating your breath with the movements, helps to connect your mind with the body.


Your centre is your “Powerhouse”, which consists of your abdomen, lower back and pelvis. In Pilates, all moves originate from your Powerhouse, outwards to your limbs and upper torso. With continuous practice of Pilates, you will end up with a strong back and improved posture!


Concentration is an essential element when connecting your mind and body. Concentrating on alignment will aid correct muscle recruitment and allow a balanced, smooth and more precise movement. This will result in a greater awareness of your body and how it moves in every day life. This powerful mind-body connection is the heart of Pilates


Muscular control is the foundation of Pilates. Control refers to the quality of the movement performed and is only improved through practice. Sloppy movements can lead to injury and therefore defeat the purpose of the exercise. By working on balance and control, Pilates teaches the body and person to work more efficiently.


Pilates focuses on perfect and precise movement. Every movement has a purpose and when it is performed with precision, one move is worth more than several half-hearted ones.


Flow is often called ‘fluidity’ and it refers to the grace and ease Pilates exercises should be performed. There are no rigid or static moves in Pilates, instead the movement is dynamic and smooth.