When Joseph Pilates designed his exercises, he didn’t call them Pilates. He called his method Contrology. The theory behind the name and the exercises were that you were learning to think about and be in control of your body. You engage the muscles. You adjust them and move them in very specific and subtle motions at times.
I think it is very empowering. And the skills (which you take 45-minutes to an hour to focus on whenever you practice Pilates) are tools you can use while doing anything in life or while doing any exercise. Whatever you do during the day you can focus on engaging the kegel and the belly button for a period, building to “controlling” the muscle for longer periods of time. When you walk, run, or even use and elliptical, you can look at your legs to see if they are tracking properly and in a parallel position.
In everything you do, you can think about your feet and whether your weight is evenly distributed across the whole foot of favoring one part. Every part of our body is connected, and when we learn to control one part, it improves others. When you notice you’re slouching at the computer, you can lengthen your spine, improving your posture.
I would argue that is what Joseph Pilates was trying to get across with his exercises. In everything you do in life, you demonstrate awareness and control over your body.