Pilates Principles: Control


The Pilates method puts a lot of focus on control of movement. Is it any wonder that Joseph Pilates originally called his method of exercise Contrology? It wasn’t until sometime after his death that the method started to be named after it’s creator.

The Pilates principle of Control is pretty straightforward in it’s meaning. In Pilates we would a lot of attention on control of the body through the movements. The movements must be executed in a smooth and balanced manner. We learn to control our body and move our muscles through the exercises in a more controlled way. Overtime and with dedication to the practice, we gain greater control over our body and the exercises. With greater control comes better alignment, balance, coordination, strength and flexibility.

In your Pilates practice focus on bringing the principle of control. Bring your awareness to controlling the muscles of the body to move with precision. Remember that in Pilates, as well as life, quality over quantity is best.

Pilates Principles: Centering


Pilates is often referred to as “a two way stretch from a strong and stable center”. Everything that we do in our lives, especially when it comes to movement, radiates out from our “Core” or our “Center”. In Pilates we refer to our center as the Powerhouse and we focus on initiating movement from this point. That is why the first principle of Pilates, Centering is very important.

The Powerhouse starts with the rib cage down to the pelvis and includes the abdominals, back, and glutes. In Pilates we bring focus to the Powerhouse to stabilize the body and initiate movement. Therefore building greater strength in our abdominals and helping our bodies to move more effectively.

As you move through your Pilates practice bring your awareness to the Powerhouse. Be mindful of initiating your movement from your Powerhouse and how the exercises radiate out from your center, into your extremities. Focusing on moving and stabilizing the body from a strong center will result in moving with grace, building more strength and alleviating back pain. This control of movement through a strong and stable center can assist you in other activities such as running, golfing, cycling and even just in your every day life.

The Pilates Principles 

In the #PilatesEveryDamnDay Challenge this week its time to introduce the 6 #Pilates principles. These principles are how we approach the exercises and what sets Pilates apart from other methods of movement. I’ll break each of these down daily over this week, and encourage you to start bringing them into your practice. The principles are:

  1. Concentration 
  2. Centering
  3. Control
  4. Breathing
  5. Precision
  6. Flow

Pilates Every Damn Day Mat Series

Day 1 of the #PilatesEveryDamnDay Challenge is here! Remember that the goal of the challenge is to practice at least 10 minutes of Pilates every day. It’s a small time commitment, so you should be able to get in at least the 10 minutes every day. NO EXCUSES!

Throughout the month we will focus on building strength and increasing flexibility. I will post videos, information on Pilates and more to keep you motivated. If you have any questions or just need a little extra push, reach out to me and the others in the Pilates Every Damn Day Facebook group.

Invite others to the challenge and to the Facebook group, share your experience and your practice on social media. Make sure to tag me and use the hashtag #PilatesEveryDamnDay so we can find one another.

  • Twitter – @Om_boy1
  • Instagram – @ChrisRobertsWellness
  • Periscope – @Om_boy1

Here is a video on a quick mat series to get you started. I recommend 5-10 reps of every exercise from The Hundred all the way up to Spine Stretch Forward. I’ve added a few exercises after Spine Stretch Forward if you wish to keep going. You can read more about the exercises here. Most importantly, HAVE FUN!!

Pilates Every Damn Day


Last December I ran a challenge group called “Pilates Every Damn Day”. It was well received and I was asked to run it again in June and July. I’ve now been asked to bring the challenge back for the month of October (and maybe also November).

The goal of the challenge is to introduce people to the practice of Pilates and for those who already practice to take their practice deeper by committing to practicing at least ten minutes of Pilates EVERY DAMN DAY!

If you have access to the Pilates equipment you can make that part of your daily workout. If you don’t have access to equipment, I recommend doing the mat series from The Hundred all the way through to Spine Stretch Forward. You can read about the exercises and how to them in this post. I will also be sharing a video of the exercises in the next few days for those who are may be unfamiliar with the exercises.

Throughout the challenge you will have daily inspiration, motivation and support from myself and the others in the challenge group Facebook Page: Pilates Every Damn Day Challenge.

Be sure to share the challenge and pictures/videos of your daily Pilates workouts on social media and use the hashtag #PilatesEveryDamnDay and tag me

  • Twitter – @Om_Boy1
  • Instagram – @ChrisRobertsWellness
  • Periscope – @Om_Boy1

I look forward to sharing my love of Pilates with you and seeing your posts, tweets and pictures. If you have any questions on the challenge or for me, please post on the Challenge Facebook page.

Like Bamboo


The recent Lunar Eclipse for me was a time for reflection. I sat in mediation and really thought about what I want to let go of and what I want to bring into my life. What is the area I want to focus on for the remainder of the year? The one thing that came up for me was to come into my power, to focus on being stronger (physically, mentally and emotionally). I’m a pretty laid back and flexible guy (again physically and mentally). Strength is something I am lacking however.

I thought “I need to become like bamboo, strong but flexible”. You really can’t have one without the other. One must know when to stand their ground and also when to bend and give. So in my life I must become like bamboo. I have the flexibility but now I need to find my source of strength and power.

So I have to be transparent here and say I’m not always as positive as I come across. We all have moments of fear or self-doubt. Last week we talked about negative self talk and how saying and hearing these negative thoughts in our heads can be counter productive to achieving our goals.

When I go to practice Pilates with my teacher she kicks my ass. She gives me some very challenging exercises to do. When I’m first presented with an unfamiliar exercise my first thought is fear based. I often find myself saying to her “I can’t do that”. I’ve decided that “STRENGTH” is my word du jour for the rest of the year. I need to focus on being stronger (physically and mentally). When I told my teacher that she said “Then you have to stop saying ‘can’t’. You have to say “I’ll try it” and at least try it before quitting”. Saying “I can’t” or not believing in yourself is just as bad as all the other negative self-talk going on in our heads.


Remember that your mind believes whatever you say. Your thoughts and words become your reality. You have to start thinking in terms of positive language, even if it’s only to trick your mind/body into believing it. What phrases do you need to stop saying to yourself and what can you say in it’s place?

What characteristic do you need to bring into your life right? What are some ways that you can find and create that characteristic in your life?

“A Movement of Movement” – A Review


Title- ” A Movement of Movement: The Essence of Pilates”
Director – Mark Pedri
Filmed – 2014
Format – DVD or Digital Download
Run Time – 72 minutes
Availability – Amazon, Ebay, Movement of Movement site and Pilates studios and websites
Reviewed by Christopher Roberts

“A Movement of Movement: The Essence of Pilates” is described as the “The First Documentary Film about Pilates. A Movement of Movement is a documentary film about the philosophy, lifestyle, movement, and world of Pilates. Told through the eyes of elders, world renowned Pilates instructors, and everyday people who have been transformed by the Movement.”

I purchased this DVD when it was first released and have watched it several times. Although I do enjoy this video, I find it to be less of a documentary and more of a series of on camera interviews with Pilates instructors and practitioners such as Jennifer Kries, Mary Bowen, Mareile Paley, Amy Taylor Alpers, Ken Endelman, I.C. Rapoport, Siri Dharma Galliano, James Crader, Eva Kauffman, Liz Ann Kudrna and a few others. Some of these Pilates instructors and practitioners I am familiar with, follow and am inspired by.

Although I do think this film is more for Pilates teachers and enthusiasts, I think there is enough here for a person new to or unfamiliar with Pilates to be informed and entertained. I actually recently watched this with my husband (who knows little about Pilates) who found there to be enough historical information on Joseph Pilates and the method to be interesting for a newbie. However I do feel it was lacking in more historical details and I really was really missing those.

Besides hearing the experiences of the teachers featured in this film, it’s strength really lies in how beautifully it is shot and edited. I find some of the most entertaining parts of the film are the segments of people practicing. They are beautifully shot and inspiring to watch, even if they are almost too long time wise. These segments inspire you to get up and move instead of watching others move on the screen.

The most inspiring segment is listening to Liz Ann Kudrna, who is in a wheelchair due to an spinal injury from hiking, talk about how Pilates can be great for a body after injury. It’s inspiring to watch her move and teach others.

While I do enjoy this film, it’s not what I was expecting. I was hoping for more of a historical documentary on Joseph Pilates and his method. While there are some great archival videos provided by Mary Bowen and a brief history of Pilates himself, I felt it was lacking in regards to the man and especially to his method. I did read an interview with Marc Pedri who said that he didn’t feel he was the person to dive deeper into doing a biography and historical documentary on Pilates.

If you are looking for a more historical documentary, you will be disappointed. I do hope one day that someone can do a more historical film featuring some of the archival photos, film and documents of Joseph Pilates’ life and creation of his method.

I would have loved to see more segments on Joseph Pilates and what brought him to develop this method. I would have loved to see more of an explanation of the method, the exercises and the principals. In fact, almost every piece of Pilates equipment is shown (including some blueprints and patent information from 1927 of a reformer) but never once are they really named or described.

If this had included a segment on the equipment, what they are used for, and the exercises themselves, it would have brought the theme all together of the movement and what makes it so special. I feel this is another HUGE area where this film was lacking. How can you talk about an exercise method and never really discuss the exercises themselves?

Also, I would have loved to seen interviews from other elders such as Lolita San Miguel. The only elder featured in the film is Mary Bowen. I do believe that I read somewhere that Pedri had planned on or did interview Lolita. Not sure if that is true, or why it never made it into the film.

Overall I think this is a film that all teachers should own. It really does a beautiful job of showcasing the method and why it is so loved by us all. It shows us how the movement has grown and will continue to grow. It is wonderful to see and hear the experiences of some of these teachers. It wonderfully shows people of different ages, locations and backgrounds coming together to honor Joseph Pilates’ and his method.