MOVEMENT | PILATES | BMC®

Read more about each method

Auguste Rodin 'Dance Movement C'

There is a universal language in which all people everywhere can express themselves
and understand one another. It is the language of movement.

We are all using this language all the time. Whatever we are doing, the movements of our bodies express something of what we are feeling. Movement expresses the feeling better than words. For babies, movement sometimes accompanied by sound and touch is the only language. Human beings and animals often communicate with one another through movement.

Even plants respond with movements of growth or decay to the gardener's care or neglect.

The language of movement cannot be translated into words. It must be sensed in the muscles. We have a muscle sense, called the kinesthetic sense. It consists of nerve endings in the muscles and joints which send messages to the brain telling us exactly how we are moving.

Try this: close your eyes, then raise one arm slowly forward. How do you know that you are raising an arm instead of a leg? How do you know that you are raising one arm and not two? That you are raising the arm and not lowering it? That you are raising it forward, not sideward? Slowly, not fast? You cannot see your movement. It is your kinaesthetic sense that is telling you. We make use of this sense unconsciously whenever we move. Learning to use it with awareness and control can enrich all our movement experiences.

The language of movement, like all forms of expression, can be cultivated on the aesthetic level and become an art.

The art of body movement is dance. It is the primary art because everything we do involves movement.

​Excerpt from "The Language of Movement" by Barbara Mettler

Leonardo da Vinci 'Vitruvian Man'

Pilates is founded on six principles.
These concepts guide the approach to Pilates and ultimately define it.

The 6 principles of Pilates tie together the theory, practice and philosophy of Pilates which,

as Joseph Pilates said, will “give you suppleness, natural grace and skill.”

1. Control 

Joseph Pilates described his method as ‘contrology’.

The premise is that controlling your muscles and movements allows you to move in a way that benefits your body. 

Contrology is not just about the physical body either, it is also about the mind, how to become body aware, and let the mind take the lead.

2. Breath 

Breathing in the right way can have an impact and it is the lifeblood of the practice.

By creating enough oxygen-rich blood to help the body function during each movement.

3. Concentration

Pilates demands your attention. It is not enough to simply go through the motions. It is all about how you do the exercises, keeping your mind on each movement to ensure you are performing the proper form. Joseph Pilates saw his techniques as “coordinating mind, body and spirit.”

4. Flow

Pilates has an emphasis on form and there is a flow created which challenges the body.

The breath sets the rhythm and this is used, alongside the sequence of movements, to flow seamlessly from one position to the next.

The connection you feel and the momentum each movement creates gives Pilates a sense of flowing energy.

5. Centering

All Pilates exercises radiate from the centre.

This is a core-strengthening and conditioning method. It also serves to connect the body and give a focal point from which each movement comes forth. By ensuring this centre is strong you can also provide good protection for the spine and pass on power to each movement. 

6. Precision

Alignment is essential in Pilates. Proper form is created by not only moving in a controlled and mindful way but making sure that spatially each movement is precise. The position of each part of the body in relation to other is crucial. By being precise you can prevent injury.

Precise practice leads to repetition and movements becoming second nature thereby creating balance through flowing form.

Body-Mind Centering Logo

Body-Mind Centering® (BMC®) is an integrated and embodied approach
to movement, the body and consciousness.

Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen is a movement artist, researcher, educator, and therapist, and the developer of the Body-Mind Centering® (BMC®) approach to movement, the body, and consciousness. For over 50 years, she has explored the anatomical, embryological, and developmental foundations of movement and how they relate to our psychophysical processes and wellbeing.

Body-Mind Centering® (BMC®) is an integrated approach to transformative experience through movement re-education and hands-on repatterning. Developed by Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen, it is an experiential study based on the embodiment and application of anatomical, physiological, psychophysical, and developmental principles, and utilizes movement, touch, voice, and consciousness. This study leads to an understanding of how the mind is expressed through the body and the body through the mind.

Body-Mind Centering® professionals have completed rigorous training programs that ensure a safe and consistent experience of the work for students and clients. Only Professional Members of BMCA are authorized to use the BMC® name. 

​Body-Mind Centering® is a registered service mark, and BMC® is a service mark of Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen.