The focus in doing the exercises is control and awareness of your body and your breath, with all movement starting from your core (mainly your abdominal muscles, lower back, hips and buttocks) that Joseph Pilates referred to as your 'power house'. In activating your core at the start of a movement, a strong stable base is created to enable support of the arms and legs throughout the exercise.
There is scientific evidence that Pilates exercises builds muscle endurance, flexibility, balance and posture: Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research paper by Kloubec, June A March 2010.
Pilates develops your core strength, balances muscular strength on both sides of your body. enhances muscular control of your back and limbs, and improves stabilisation of your spine. This helps enable the body to work effectively and can help reduce back and hip pain. It can also help improve your posture and make it easier to hold yourself with confidence and control.
As Pilates exercises are performed with mindfulness, your workout can bring calm and relaxation to your body and help with stress and anxiety.
As with all exercising, the body releases serotonin, the feel good hormone. You may find that you walk out of your workout that little bit happier than when you walked in (and not just because you are relieved the workout is over!)
The mind-body coordination of Pilates can help improve your attention span, self-efficacy, your mood and brain activity. This will help you in all aspects of your life both at work, rest and at play. Exercising can also help develop good sleep patterns.