Principles & Methods

It is not what you do, but how you do what you do that defines what you get. CSRM

The Art of Holistic Training

Bodyhood© Pilates is a well-balanced holistic approach to physical trainings that uses a progressive sequence of exercises in multiple planes and differentiated positions. It improves muscle control and strength, flexibility, coordination, breathing and your presence. It does so by balancing your body’s structural apparatus through the organization and activation of its 2 core centres

  • the deep muscle corset system (DMCS) and
  • the deep shoulder girdle stabilizers (DSGS).

This way you are able to maintain control of your body as an organic whole through a progressively loaded pattern of movement in the positions of flexion, extension, rotation and torsion.

The Bodyhood Interpretation of the 7 Pilates Principles

Each of the pilates exercises is built on the 7 pilates principles without which the body uses about twice as much energy as necessary.

  • Concentration – Point the arrow where it should be going! Bring everything into a coherent understanding.
  • Control – Power without force! Organize and coordinate your muscular network through the application of the deep muscle corset system.
  • Centering - I enfold! Organize the continuous band that connects the lower back to the belly in the horizontal sphere, and the pelvis to the ribcage in the vertical sphere; and all that before starting the exercise.
  • Flowing movement – The river never stops moving! There is no beginning and no end. Every movement comes from another and leads to another.
  • Precision – The economy of movement. Like the sword of a Samurai! The act of precision sends a clear signal to the mind not to sway from the path it has chosen. It reduces effort and waste, and saves time.
  • Breathing - There is always air in the air! But if the thinking of the breathing dictates the movement, then the quality of the movement will be jeopardized.
  • Relaxation - Don`t fight, sigh! Your intention to act should never be greater than the performance of the action itself.

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First Releasing & then Connecting to your Centre

In order to perform the exercises properly, we have to consider that the movement must come from the centre; and it can only efficiently come from the centre if the movement is driven by power without force. This means that a letting go in one area precedes an activation in another area, and furthermore that every movement starts from a state of release. From a silence.

So, the Bodyhood method requires that you
first release your compulsion to act
which is always connected to an end-result,
the need to get it over with,
and that you then
make the decision to organize yourself before you act.

Gaining Silence - The ABC Principle

The ABC principle is a learning tool that disentangles the mind of those complexities that can make the simplest thing appear to be very difficult to accomplish. CSRM

It is a code of thought, speech and action that is designed to expand the learning of the Pilates method by helping you to actually do what you think you are doing expediently and exponentially. It will help you to gain and utilize space, silence and awareness - a technique to keep you in the moment.
The ABC principle will inhibit your compulsion to act prematurely by allowing the reflex stimulus (the intrinsic action that needs to happen before you act) to come into play prior to your intention to act. In other words, the reflex stimulus will organize your body before the action takes place to harmoniously oppose gravity.
All in all, the ABC principle can be a great support, especially, because most of the time we think about what we intend to do, but not about what we are actually doing. So, by verbalizing - articulating each principle out loud - we will actually be able to do exactly what we think we are doing.

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Making the Unnoticeable Noticeable

Moreover, the ABC principle serves as a useful tool to make what appears to be invisible visible, to make the unobservable observable, to make the unfelt felt; and finally to bring the instinctual muscular organization of the body (the ABC pattern) into awareness, so that you will be able to have conscious control over your body; so as to bridge your inner world with your outer world.

The manner/way one does something and/or the state one is in while doing that thing is antecedent and preparatory to actually doing that thing and is therefore the guiding principle that maintains the integrity of that thing in the process of doing. Moshe Feldenkrais

Functional Movement

Movement that you can actually use in your everyday life. This new paradigm partly replaces the mechanistic and commercial approach that is practiced all over the world, which improves structure without improving function, with a more functional practice - which improves structure by improving function. When, for example, a client in a pilates studio is taught how to use the shoulder girdle in the Double Leg Stretch, but then back at home uses her shoulder joint instead of her shoulder girdle to lift a shoe box to place it on a shelf, we have to accept the fact that the pilates approach taught to her was structural and not functional.

The essence of our body is to function, the goal of our body is to function, and the meaning is in its functioning. So, when you walk up the stairs to go to your apartment, your gluteus has to contract to stabilize your leg to your pelvis to provide you with the thrust for the next step. It is not there to help you win a booty contest. I am not saying it is wrong to win a booty contest; what I am saying is: It is not what the gluteus is meant for. Moreover, if we accept that the pilates method was originated from Joseph Pilates' observations of the movements of children and animals, we have to accept the premise that originally the pilates method was a functional method.

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An Approach beyond Language Barriers

One of the unique features of our approach is the use of the so-called “tonal rhythm pattern”-technique in the teaching and learning of the Pilates method.

Tone is universal. It is indigenous to all people of the world. It is the oldest social engagement system used by animals and humans alike to communicate with each other. It existed long before language was developed, and is deeply embedded in the phylogenetic inheritance of the human species. In so saying, whether you speak Mandarin, Japanese, Russian or Swahili places no hindrance to the teaching and learning of the pilates method, because the way we teach and the way you learn the pilates method is functionally independent of the language you speak. By engaging you to rhythmically intone the movement patterns as you perform them, we can establish very clearly the reason why you are not doing what you are supposed to be doing; and more importantly we can show you how you can do what you are supposed to be doing more efficiently and expediently. So, we do not necessarily need language to teach.

Discovering, Observing, Re-creating & Enjoying your Body

These 4 simple yet powerful techniques – discovering, observing, re-creating and enjoying your own body - will enable you to perceive the depth and comprehension of the pilates method expediently and with ease. Less strenuous effort will bring you more satisfying results, because both, body and mind, are being conditioned at the same time. So, approaching and re-discovering the pilates method in such an unprecedented and original way - by simply discovering, observing, re-creating and enjoying your body - will truly open windows and doors to reveal unforeseen possibilities in your body and mind.

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Visualizing Energy in Pilates

We visualize the tension to stabilize our body parts within the Pilates exercises rotationally. In supine lying position the tension (energy) used to stabilize the pelvis has an upward rotational movement towards the sky; but the tension used to stabilize the shoulders has the reverse, namely, a downward rotational movement towards the earth.

An Expanded Application

The expanded and widened application of the pilates method means that we have developed concepts such as the ABC principle and techniques, such as intoning and verbalizing of action. These approaches are not typically associated with the teaching of the pilates method, but nevertheless allow us to help you achieve this state of being, whereby in practicing the pilates method you will feel like a tree and a bird at the same time. All in all, Bodyhood Pilates can be described as an expanded understanding and application of the pilates method in the pursue of health and fitness.