QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
Joseph described “the balance of body and mind” as the “conscious control of all muscular movements.” “Contrology” or “the art of control” was explicitly the methodology of moving with precise muscle control. This meant that all movements were to be performed accurately with clear intentions. For Joseph his practice was much more about quality than quantity. He emphasized proper form with safety first over higher intensities or multiple repetitions of a movement.
Practitioners of pilates are encouraged to execute each exercise with focused concentration attending to explicit parameters of performance. All the interconnected moving parts are to be practiced with exacting design in correlation to the desired goal, form and sequencing. This will provide positive results offering optimal functionality and conditioning benefits without the risks of harmful consequences or potential injury.
PRACTICE AND AWARENESS BEGET CONTROL
The pilates method of conditioning is a movement technique that cultivates control through awareness. With experience awareness improves facilitating enhanced kinesthesia and better coordination resulting in more control. Pilates is a progressive method that builds on experiential levels of proprioception and somatic awareness. Improving skills will facilitate the correction of imbalances and improve misalignments to recondition weaknesses. More precise execution will enhance everyday functionality and improve overall movement efficiency experienced throughout all life’s chores and activities.
Control develops as awareness improves and physiques get stronger and more agile. With enhanced embodied awareness comes greater skill and more confidence. More confidence invites newer challenges and more explorations. Your practice becomes an exciting part of who you are living daily with more power and joy embodied with the assurance of a stronger center, an elongated and optimally supported spine, greater control of core muscles and bone stabilizers that facilitate better posture and healthier joint alignments. Pilates is the application of muscle activations and qualitative movements in explicit patterns and sequences that promote a healthy body and mind, making the method more about efficacious techniques to safely encourage desirable results than the methodical manufacturing of big muscles.
MASTERY THROUGH CONTROL
In Joseph’s writings, he expressed. “Ideally our muscles should obey our will. Reasonably our will should not be dominated by the reflex actions of our muscles.” Hence, “Contrology [aka pilates] starts with mind control over muscles.” In any physical skill, mastery of control is a process that is practiced and develops over time. Pilates is a skilled practice perfected by inspiration from your beating heart, mind and spirit. Every motion is visualized for precise performance with a contemplated objective in mind before it is sentiently experienced and honed for refinement. Imagery is a tool that can facilitate control enabling the mind’s eye to support the body’s efforts. Meticulous mindful preparation through concentration and focused contemplation of movement images facilitates greater awareness, improves control and nurtures precision to ensure the benefits of movement success.
More on Control
- Somatics: Reawakening The Mind’s Control Of Movement, Flexibility, And Health by Thomas Hanna
- The Thinking Body by Mabel Elsworth Todd
- Biomechanical Basis of Human Movement 4th Edition by Joseph Hamill and Kaqthleen M. Knutzen
- Real Movement: Perspective on Integrated Motion & Motor Control by Adam Wolf
- No-Risk Pilates by Blandine Calais-Germain and Bertrand Raison
- Bodystories: A Guide to Experiential Anatomy by Andrea Olsen