I have always said that posture and core strength are the roots of all exercises. By incorporating Pilates into your routine, you will be more aware of your body and more aware of your form in all the exercises that you do.
This will translate into better results, as well as increased stamina and less incidences of injury which is especially important as you age. But first, you must understand the six principles of Pilates and how they relate to each exercise.
Centering: This is where you will bring the awareness and focus to your body’s powerhouse, which is the center of your body, from your lower ribs to the pubic bone.
Concentration: Bringing your full attention to the movement. That means being committed to each exercise and understanding how your body moves in relation to your core.
Control: You need to maintain complete muscular control for every Pilates exercise. This means stabilizing your core, then moving from that core stabilization position. Every movement is done with intention as you move from a mind/body connection.
Precision: As you control each movement, the result is precision. You will become more aware of each movement in Pilates, understanding appropriate placement and alignment of each body part.
Breath: It is important that you breathe deeply and fully in Pilates. When breathing you should breathe deep into the lungs, allowing the belly to expand and exhale the breath deep in your core as you pull and tighten your belly.
Flow: Pilates exercises are done in a flowing manner, almost dancelike.
International Pilates Expert, Bernadette Giorgi of “Just B Method” (www.justbmethod.com), has found in her practice teaching of post-menopausal women that, hip & spine mobility & strength are concerns for women. Giorgi says that as we age, it becomes clear that exercise shouldn't hurt or feel like punishment. It should make us feel invigorated & ready for the day's activities.”
Giorgi has also trained numerous breast cancer survivors where the group experienced such significant results, she used them as the cast for her Pilates DVD’s.