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  • Writer's pictureErica O.

The Core Principles of Pilates

Updated: Nov 18, 2021

At the heart of Pilates lies six principles that were developed by Joseph Pilates. These principles are what make Pilates unique when compared to other exercise methods. The principles integrate with one another to unify the movements of the body, mind, and spirit.

The Six Principles of Pilates:


In Pilates, it’s critical to focus on the center of your body or your ‘powerhouse.’ Joseph Pilates created the concept of the Pilates Powerhouse, which refers to your “core” or the foundation of all your movements. All movements in Pilates center from your “powerhouse.”


When practicing Pilates, it’s important to be present at the moment. Without being present, you will not get the full benefit of the exercise. This principle is similar to practicing mindfulness or meditation to ensure that you’re mentally benefiting from each movement as well.


Pilates is about quality, not quantity. This principle ensures that your mind is directing your muscles to make conscious, deliberate movements throughout your practice.


This principle encourages the coordination of balance, control, and flow. Each movement in Pilates should use precision between each muscle group involved to further support your powerhouse.


Breath is one of the most important principles of Pilates. Joseph Pilates encourages those practicing Pilates to think of their lungs as bellows to strongly pump air in and out of the body.

Joseph Pilates once said, “To breathe correctly you must completely exhale and inhale, always trying very hard to squeeze each atom of impure air from your lungs in much the same manner that you would wring every drop of water from a wet cloth.”


All Pilates exercises are done in a flowing manner. Each movement should come with fluidity, grace, and ease. Although this principle takes time and practice, it allows you to further control all areas of your body evenly.

This month at Erica’s Pilates Studio, we’re kicking it “Back to the Basics” of Pilates on our Instagram channel. Make sure to follow our page to see how these principles are incorporated into different Pilates movements and how they can help improve your overall health. Follow us here.

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