✓ Breathing: The breath is the essential link between the mind and the body. People often hold their breath when performing a new and difficult task. When you hold your breath, you tense muscles that can ultimately exacerbate improper posture and reinforce tension habits.That is why consistent breathing is essential to flowing movement and proper muscle balance.
✓ Concentration: To concentrate is to pay attention and to be present in what you are doing. As Joseph often said, "It is better to do five repetitions perfectly than 20 without payng attention".Concentrate on each part, not just the overall movements of the exercise. If you can understand and visualise the exercises correctly, then you will do them correctly. Conscious control of the movement enhances body awareness.
✓ Centering: In Pilates all movement radiates outward from the center: the physical energy exerted from the center should coordinate movements of the extremities. All Pilates exercises are done with the deep abdominal muscles engaged to ensure proper centring. No exercise should be done without centre control. In other words , if the centre is not totally and completely engaged and stabilised, you should not progress to the next level of an exercise. See trasverse abdominus for more information.
✓ Control: Every Pilates exercise is done with complete deliberate muscular control.This rule applies not only to the exercises themselves but also to transitions between exercises and your overall attention to detail while working out. When focusing on control of a movement, the body is forced to recruit helper muscles (called synergists), which are usually smoller then the main muscles, and as a whole develops greater balance and coordination.
✓ Precision: All Pilates exercises have precise definitions of where the body should be at all times. That means, when initiating any movement, you must know exactly where that movement starts and where it will end. A goal of Pilates is to focus on the specific muscles that should be working and relaxing all the muscles that may want to help out but shouldn't.
✓ Flow: All movements in Pilates are done with a sense of rhythm and flow. Continuous controlled movement integrates the nervous system, the muscles and the joints, and trains the body to move smoothly and efficiently.
Transverse Abdominus - The transverse abdominus (Tab) muscle is a key muscle in providing dynamic stability to the lower back and pelvis. The muscle is the deepest of all the abdominal muscles, and runs from the centre of the abdominal area at the front of the body (linear alba, inguinal ligament, bottom six ribs), wraps around the body and attaches to the connective tissue (fascia) of the lumbar spine.