There are Five Basic Principles that provide the foundation of STOTT PILATES® and are essential to performing the exercises safely and effectively. These principles show you how to breathe properly and position your body through the exercise, making you more aware of your ‘core’ and improving the results you achieve from your workout. After learning the STOTT PILATES® Basic Principles, you will be on your way to achieving a neutral, tension-free position. You will be more aware of your body, and will start to carry yourself differently. You may even stand a little taller!

First it is important to start any exercise in a position that is tension-free.
If there is already tension before starting,
too much stress will be created once movement begins.

Proper breathing ensures that enough oxygen is flowing to the muscles you are using, and helps prevent unnecessary tension. A relaxed and full breath pattern encourages focus and concentration, and will help engage your deep abdominal muscles and stabilize your torso.
Stabilization of the pelvis and lumbar spine (lower back) in either a neutral or an imprinted position will stabilize the back and optimize shock absorption.
The rib cage position affects the alignment of the thoracic (upper) spine. Using the proper breath pattern and engaging your abs will help stabilize the rib cage.
Stabilizing your scapulae (shoulder blades) on the back of the rib cage will help you avoid strain through your neck and upper shoulders.
Your cervical spine (neck) should hold its natural curve with your head balanced directly above your shoulders in order to keep your head and neck in a comfortable position.

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