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Joseph Pilates’ exercise method is much more than a collection of physical exercises. Based on a strong philosophical foundation and observation, Pilates formed a core set of principles upon which the Method is built. Understanding and working with these principles will help you make the most of your Pilates practice.

  1. Centering: Pilates originates all movements from the center, or core, of your body encompassing your abdomen, lower and upper back, hips, buttocks, and inner thighs—also known as the “powerhouse” of the body. Pilates movements begin in the center and move outward to the limbs. Large muscle groups, our spine, and organs are all supported from this powerhouse.
  2. Concentration: In order to maintain control (the next principle), it’s important to maintain concentration and remain fully aware of your body during each movement. How you perform an exercise is as important as the exercise itself.
  3. Control: Pilates movement is not about intensity but control, and controlled exercise yields the greatest benefits while protecting muscles from injury. In fact, control was so important to Pilates that he called his method “Contrology.” At first, you may find it difficult to control every aspect of your movements, but as your skill level increases through practice, you will enjoy increased control.
  4. Precision: Each exercise has a specific procedure and quality that it’s important to followed precisely. As you practice concentration and gain control, you will enjoy the increased awareness and precision with which you are able to practice each movement. You will gain more benefits from a few precise movements, than more movement done sloppily.
  5. Breath: It’s important when practicing Pilates movement to breath fully and purposefully, inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth. Breathing is our link between the inside and outside of the body, as well as the mind-body connection. And, while breathing is normally something we do automatically without thinking, focusing on your breathing promotes awareness and helps you deliver the optimum amount of oxygen to the muscles being used.
  6. Flowing/Efficient Movement: You may be used to exercising rapidly, using jerky movements (think jazzercise and step). In contrast, Pilates, like disciplined dance forms, focuses on quality of movement rather than quantity or intensity. Quality is about tone, balance, and flow rather than repetition. By concentrating on precise and controlled movement, you will achieve movement efficiency, with a balance between muscle contraction and relaxation.
  7. Alignment: Correct alignment, stabilizing the pelvis, is an important aspect of Pilates practice, as faulty alignment negative affects your abilities to concentrate, center, breath properly, maintain correct posture, and achieve balanced, efficient, movement.

Achieve your physical best while practicing Pilates under the careful guidance of a knowledgeable instructor. Check out our class schedule providing focused, individual attention.

I welcome your comments. What do you struggle with? What would you like to learn to do better? What are your health challenges and accomplishment?


Image Credit: Toni Busch

The Hidden “CORE” Muscles

Do you know you have a muscle called the Illio-Psoas?   Ever heard of the Serratus muscle?  Did you know that learning how to release and engage these muscles will intensify your core workout?

At the clinic on Saturday the 19th some of us were introduced for the first time to the Psoas.  Most were relieved to discover it and all were fascinated by how much more toning occurred in their core as a result of learning how to contract or release  it.


Our Next Clinic:  Saturday April 30th 11:00 -2:00

The milder the resistance often times delivers the greatest core challenge.

If you are fortunate enough to have access to the Pilates Reformer or Cadillac this next workshop is for you.  Often times the tendency is to think more resistance will create more core tone.  This however is not always the case with the Pilates Apparatus.  Stay tuned for more details.

Mat vs Reformer  and Cadillac

With mat-work your body provides both the resistance and assistance for the Pilates exercises, affected only by gravity and your body weight. The  Reformer and the Cadillac extend the available range much farther, offering either additional resistance or support. Exercises can be more restorative or challenging, as desired

Introducing  Exercise coach Cinder Ernst.

For your free consultation or 415 699 5797

and/ or sign up for her 12 week coaching group done by phone


Do you feel frustrated or sad because you can’t get yourself to exercise even though you know it would improve your health?

I can help you to exercise consistently, without struggle.

There is no focus on weight loss.

This is a 12 week 4 person coaching group done on the phone. You will learn and then practice life skills into doing what you know you want to do…exercise. By the end of group you will be exercising 3 times a week consistently and with joy, and you will be able to do that for the rest of your life.

Say Yes to your life, your loved ones and yourself!

Take a small sweet step right now and call or email Cinder

For your free consultation or 415 699 5797

For Women who are worried about their health

And are willing & ready to do something about it.

Group starts Tuesday April 5th at 5pm

Total price $547 (payment plans available)

Get started now!

Archer’s Pilates & Massage
575 Lincoln


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See Archer's Pilates featured in the Napa Register