Purpose of Pilates

If you regularly do Pilates, you know that there is a lot to think about when doing each exercise. You have to keep your shoulders back and down. You need to remain in a neutral spine without cramming your back into the mat. Keep your neck relaxed. Pull that belly button to your spine. Engage the kegel. Oh, yes, and don’t forget to breath–into the sides of your rib cage.

It’s a lot to focus on for what could be a basic crunch, but there is a method to the madness. The purpose of taking time every day or every week to focus on aligning your body and working your muscles evenly helps create a balanced body. The hope is that when you focus on all these points in class, you’ll start thinking about your posture in daily life. Before you know it, you won’t have to think about pulling your belly button to your spine. You’ll just do it.

The goal is to think about your body, use your mind to control the muscles, and learn to have a well balanced body. You wind up in control of your motions during all daily activities. It’s really a fabulous method.


About the Author:

Maggie Downie
Thank you for giving your time to stop and read my blog. I hope it encourages you to keep moving. Move and the body will be happier. And when you're moving you can hike, run, swim in Jell-O, race over non-Newtonian fluids, travel the world or build igloos--if that's your thing. If not, you can watch me do it. This is just a spot to try and feel good about life.


  1. Bill May 28, 2008 at 7:27 pm - Reply

    Maggie, How do you breathe with Pilates? If I am pulling my belly button back toward my spine it will be difficult to practice Yoga breath where one expands one’s stomach on the inhale.

  2. Maggie June 2, 2008 at 12:03 pm - Reply

    Hi Bill,

    When doing Pilates, you try not to breathe into your stomach like you do during yoga. During Pilates you breathe into the sides and back of your rib cage so that you can keep your stomach muscles engaged through all the exercises. It’s still a deep breath.

    Try yawning. Where does the majority of your breath go? Usually the sides and back of your ribs. That’s where you want to breath during a Pilates workout.

    I have an earlier blog on breathing that might help you out a bit more too.

    Thanks for reading!

  3. Bill June 2, 2008 at 1:36 pm - Reply

    Thank you, Maggie.

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