The pilates method comprises six elements:
Pilates exercises demand focus, concentration and dedication to derive the greatest benefit from each exercise.
According to Pilates all energy for exercises is said to begin from the Powerhouse and flow outward to the limbs. All physical energy is therefore brought to the centre of the body from where it is used to coordinate movement of the extremities.
All movements in Pilates exercises are controlled and each part of the body has its own function.
In Pilates exercises every movement has a purpose and all movement is stored and saved in the subconscious. The exercises strive to place each part of the body in exactly the right position to create perfect alignment of the spine and muscles. The goal is for the movement to become second nature which is ultimately manifest as grace, strength and suppleness.
All Pilates exercises flow seamlessly into the other. The grace of the movement ensures that energy flows through the body freely.
Joseph Pilates considered correct breathing extremely important. He carefully coordinated the breathing with the movements so as to enlarge lung capacity and reintegrate the breath in the exercise.
The Pilates equipment known as the Reformer has a built in way of checking whether all six of these elements are present during an exercise. The mechanics are controlled by springs and if one of the six elements is missing, the equipment protests noisily!