This physical and mental therapy method was developed in 1930 by a master of physical rehabilitation, Joseph Pilates.
Once called "contrology," the Pilates method strives for coordination between body and mind. The body is considered as a complete entity, and physical exercises are performed in depth. Detail counts in every pilates gesture, and intense focus is required for each movement. It's up to the mind to structure and guide the body. In this way, you'll learn to reform the relationship between your body and mind, and ensure flawless mastery of movement.
The aim is to achieve a flow within each movement as well as from one movement to the next. These workouts increase joint and muscle flexibility and lend more overall coherence to the body. When executing each movement, it is important to have a precise mental image of each part of the body. It is also important to realize that the body is working out as a whole entity.
Like aikido and other martial arts, pilates locates the "powerhouse," or energy source, at the center of the body, i.e. the abs, hips and inner thighs. The center must be engaged and stable for the exercises to be done correctly.
In-depth, intense workouts optimizing the abs lead to better stability. The results are movement control, breathing, flow, precision, concentration and stability.