At the heart of Pilates is precision in the way we move, more specifically, the timing and placement of limbs as we carry out a particular exercise. How does it feel as we take the body through a sequence of movements, e.g. is there a strong sense of the muscles stretching or shortening, how smoothly are the joints working, how heavy are the limbs? These are the sorts of questions it’s useful to ask ourselves as we execute each Pilates exercise. It helps us focus on exactly what we’re doing and stay in the moment.
These images by Harold Edgerton really make you think about what’s involved when we create different shapes with the body. They show in great detail how it moves when we undertake various activities, for example, walking, performing a dive, or simply just moving our arms. Edgerton worked with a stroboscope to capture these images. By synchronizing strobe flashes with the movement being examined then taking a series of photographs through an open shutter at the rate of many flashes per second, Edgerton invented ultra-high-speed and stop-action photography.