Pilates Fundamentals: The Five Principles

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Gentle Yoga
Yoga for Back Care
Your rating: None
Average: 4.4 (60 votes)
Class Description: 

Kim has a beautiful way of clearly describing the five principles of pilates. In this class she will take you through each one, teaching you how to incorporate each into your life and showing an exercise you can do to practice them and strengthen the key core muscles.


New awareness!
Gryogi 5 months ago

Thank you Kim, this is great! I feel a new body awareness in my shoulder, back, neck and tummy, which I think was missing in my yoga practice! Please, do more videos Kim!

This class is not a one-off
Uhmanduh 10 months ago

I watched did this class first before trying any of Kim's classes and I come back to it every once in a while, especially when I've been out of practice for a bit. Yes, it's a lot of talking and less in the way of action, but it's important to understand the principles and to revisit them so that you keep them in mind throughout your regular practice. One should be working towards improving them all the time. This class shouldn't be a one-off; it should be revisited every 6 months or so.

Not for everyone
kesalmen 10 months ago

I did not particularly enjoy this class and, in fact, stopped it after about 8 minutes. I want my yoga to be calming and relaxing, and there was too much talking for this to be calming and relaxing. After reading the other comments, it is clear that this is a great class. However, I would have to argue that it is not for everyone.

Different Feel
David Procyshyn 7 months ago

Hi, kesalmen. It's a valid comment, but keep in mind that this is not a yoga class, it's pilates. Pilates focuses more on core activation and whole body strength and for that reason it generally requires more specific cueing and a more active approach.
Take care,

Wow, so much to think about!
Becky in George... 12 months ago

I feel that I have been doing crunches wrong for a lifetime. This was helpful on so many levels; I even hope my daughter notices a difference in my posture by my using these principles.
Clearly described, this could be beneficial to anyone who is wanting to enhance their practice and improve back health. Thanks

Love! Love! Love!
Terry87571 1 year ago

Kim, this was FANTASTIC! A wonderful inro to pilates. I'll be doing this a least a couple of more times. Thank You!

This class really promotes
vasinger 1 year ago

This class really promotes awareness of essential muscles that we usually neglect when we exercise!

Summary of Five Principles of Pilates
joshuachin 1 year ago

Aside from the fact that it does have a slight gender bias, I feel that this video is a great introduction to the world of Pilates.
Below is a paraphrased summary of the five principles and what Kim Wilson mentioned.
Feel free to correct me where I'm wrong or may have missed out on anything important.
Hope that this will help those who need it.

1. Lateral Breathing
- Engage the deep core muscles, pelvic floor.
- Breathe to expand chest and abdominals laterally.
- Purse lips while exhaling to engage core.

2. Neutral Hips
- Midway between flat lower spine and fully tense lower back.
- Engage pelvic floor and transverse abdominals (deep core) to stabilise.

3. Ribcage Engagement
- Ribcage stabilises and protects thoracic spine (mid-spine).
- Engage ribcage during arm-raising activities by preventing the ribcage from popping-up.

4. Scapular Retraction
- Neutral Position at midway between fully extending arms forward and fully retracting shoulder blades.
- Relaxes upper traps, increases engagement of lower traps.
- Opens up chest, expands body laterally through collar bone.

5. Cervical Placement
- Tuck chin until eyesight perpendicular to body, imagine string pulling from top of skull.
- Protects the neck, prevents over-engagement during activities such as crunches.

Pilates Student Learning Something New
ouiser 3 years ago

In 2011-2012 I practiced Pilates consistently for over a year. Then a wedding, a move across town and a whole new life put me out of my regular routine and left me searching for a new Pilates studio. Out of practice for the past year, I've returned to Pilates and found this video. Though I was introduced to the five principles previously, I learned some new things from Kim about the positioning of my body in various exercises. Her description of the bungy cords pulling on the hip bones "clicked" with me and I was able to engage my muscles more effectively. Her explanations, instructions and examples are easy to follow and clear. Thanks, Kim!

Great for posture
Punkypooch 3 years ago

This video seems like it can help you greatly improve your posture, and it is vital to learn this in order to reduce the likelihood of injury while doing yoga. (Not to mention, tucking your gut in makes you look skinnier!)