We can define it as the starting point of the Pilates method, the basis on which to build everything else. Concentration represents the first fundamental point in learning and performing the technique, since with it it will be possible to establish that "mind-body" synergy on which the Pilates method is based and consequently, apply and make the other principles their own. It is therefore necessary to pay close attention to every movement, as each part of the body has its own importance and therefore nothing must be neglected or ignored. The Concentration required in performing the exercises of the Pilates Method, however, does not end exclusively with the movement but is extended to the whole body. The awareness of the posture maintained during the execution of the exercise is important.
Through concentration you must come to have total control of every movement (remember, you will not be able to be in control of your body if you are not focused). Nothing in the Pilates Method is accidental. Therefore it is necessary not only to keep under control the movement relative to the joint affected by the exercise in progress but at the same time also the position of the head, neck, upper limbs, fingers, shoulders, back, pelvis, lower limbs, feet and toes. Moving out of control can lead to injury; the Pilates technique teaches you to have full control of your body and not to be exclusively at the service of it. Joseph Pilates called his method "Art of Contrology". The first text written by J.H. Pilates was entitled "The return to life through Contrology" and collected the intuition of the master through the description of the exercises of the Mat Work.
The center of gravity is the fulcrum of the Pilates Method both from a physical and a structural point of view. J.H. Pilates defined the area between the final part of the rib cage and the pelvis as "Powerhouse" or "Girdle of Strength". This area includes in a frontal view the rectus abdominals, the obliques and the transverses, while posteriorly it involves the great dorsals, the squares of the loins and the buttocks. The posture created by strengthening this area can be represented by two horizontal lines that pass one behind and the other through the iliac crests. The resulting "Frame" or "Box" (frame), divided by a vertical line, the "central line", represents the right balance of forces. The work of the Pilates Method is set on the "center line" and on the control of the correct alignment of the frame. The center of gravity is also intended as stabilization of the pelvis through the synergistic work of the abdominal area with the lumbar area aimed at maintaining the neutral position (Neutral Position). An appropriate development of the work on the center of gravity means less energy expenditure and a reduced incidence of injuries and postural lumbar and dorsal pain symptoms.
No movement, in the execution of the exercises of the Pilates Method, must be performed in a rigid and contracted way. Just as it must be neither too fast nor too slow. In the movement there must be harmony, grace and fluidity alongside the control of the movement itself. According to Pilates, the Fluidity of Movement comes from the strength of the center of gravity.
Accuracy is another fundamental aspect that comes from control. The lack of control in the execution of an exercise of the Pilates Method inevitably leads to its incorrect interpretation and execution. The balance of the tone of the various muscle regions originates from the precision of the movements, which translates into the grace and economy of movement in everyday life.
Breathing is one of the main elements. A fluid and complete inhalation and exhalation are part of every exercise of the Pilates Method. Breathing must be correctly coordinated with the movements . For this reason, each exercise of the Pilates Method is accompanied by instructions for correct breathing.