Joseph Pilates dubbed his training method “Contrology”. The control principle is the foundation of Pilates. This principle can be thought of as every exercise is performed with the intent of complete muscular control. Every movement is conscious and deliberate. The mind is focused on each detail of the movement. In the Pilates method, you move through each exercise using every part of your body synergistically, building strength, balance, and efficient movement.
The exercise, Rolling Like a Ball is a good example of how the control principle is used. You have to focus on initiating the movement from a strong core, not relying on momentum in the exercise. Creating a scoop in your abdominals, you roll back on the mat to the tips of your shoulder blades and back up without changing your shape. Just like a ball. Your focus is maintaining the scoop, not just tipping back into gravity. The work is on keeping the shape, keeping elbows lifted, and controlling range of motion.
The Control principle can be used in everyday activities, i.e. while picking up a grocery bag, bend your knees, and mindfully engage your core.