The Pilates method is broken out into 3 systems: the Basic, Intermediate and Advanced.
Comprised of the fundamental framework of the Pilates - approximately 20 reformer excercises and 6 mat exercises and several other exercises across other apparatuses. A minimum of 10 lessons will allow a student to be exposed to the Basic Reformer and Mat order, and transitional into Intermediate exercises can then be introduced lesson by lesson. A master teacher will often test a teacher's knowledge of the work by seeing them perform a Basic Reformer and Mat series rather than the most advanced exercises. Basic is by no means limited to a Beginner!
This is where the bulk of the 600+ exercises of the Pilates method exist. If you can perform the Basic Reformer and Mat order in 20 minutes or less, demonstrating the principles of Pilates and the purposes of the exercises, you can move into Intermediate! The Intermediate series adds in another 20 exercises on Reformer and 13 on Mat, which usually takes 4-6 months of consistent lessons before practicing a student is practicing a full Intermediate Reformer and Mat order. The rest of the exercises are across the many apparatuses Joseph Pilates designed to further inform the body how it can move. This system has everything the body needs throughout a lifetime, regardless of whether the goal is physical endurance or rehabilitation. A student who practices 1-2x a week for a year may still not be exposed to the hundreds of exercises that exist in the Intermediate system across all apparatuses!
No new concepts are introduced in the Advanced system, only different exercises. It is usually only teachers, apprentices or high level athletes who practice in the Advanced system - often times with exercises left out from person to person, based on individual's body or goals. Not all exercises are appropriate for every body, and it takes a very dedicated student to establish the teacher/student relationship that needs to exist in order for the Advanced exercises to be taught safely and effectively.
PRINCIPLES OF PILATES
The main focus of the Pilates Method is the center of the body: the Powerhouse. All movement begins and is sustained through this center
Joseph Pilates believed that, “it is the mind that guides the body”. We center the mind with the body in action bringing the five aspects of the mind into the workout:
Intelligence, Intuition, Imagination, Will and Memory
Pilates is the Art of Contrology
When working from the center and with full concentration, we are able to maintain control of every movement not allowing bad habits or gravity to take over.
The benefits of Pilates depend solely on performing the exercises exactly according to the instructions.' - Joseph Pilates
Work with quality instead of quantity.
All exercises are done with the rhythm of thebreath and heart beat in order to send fresh oxygen to the muscles.
The full workout is a flowing succession of exercises performed with vigorous dynamics. Movement is kept to a minimum, especially during transitions, for maximum flow.