Concentration is the second principle that we apply to Pilates movements to get the most from the exercises.
Taking a few moments to relax at the beginning of a Pilates session, gives us the chance to focus both mind and body, and really think about where the movements are coming from and how we're feeling. This constant feedback allows us to tweak and modify as we go, giving our full attention to each and every movement so we perform it to the best of our ability and get the most benefit from each movement. You'll get much more out of performing 5 well executed movements than 10 sloppy and half hearted ones just to get them over and done with!
When I first started Pilates I was training to be a Primary School Teacher and found that Pilates was the only thing I could do where I wasn't thinking about lesson plans (or what I was having for dinner...) because I'd either fall over or forget what I was meant to be doing.
There can be an awful lot to think about when you first start Pilates - the alignment of the body, engaging the abdominals and pelvic floor, thinking about how you're moving, where the movement is coming from, did I mention you need to breath too?!
By taking your time and connecting your mind with your body you'll find that with practice this will become automatic (bit like driving a car!) and you'll reach a new level of awareness about yourself and your Pilates practice.
Being aware of each and every movement helps to connect and focus the mind and body leaving you feeling relaxed and refreshed at the end of a workout rather than exhausted.
You'll be more aware of your body, how it moves in space and how it feels, so you build confidence in yourself and your body and can take what you've learnt into daily life to help you move well with confidence and ease.