That is Sir Isaac Newton's third law of motion, which sums up the essence of pilates movement. We sometimes overly focus on the aspect of "drawing into the abdominals" during pilates, as if that is the most important part of every exercise. Connecting into the core is very important, but it must be balanced out by the realization that, for every action, there is always an equal and opposite action that occurs.
It is this balance of actions that creates the "pilates body" that we're all trying to achieve!
Here is a list of exercises, with some thoughts on balanced actions, equal and opposite:
Stomach Series: abdominals draw in as the inner thighs stretch out
Hundreds: Inner thighs wrap together as the collar bones open
Magic Circle Inner Thigh Squeezes: Inner thighs press in, low back is wide
Side Kicks: Top leg stretches out long as the spine stretches out through the top of the head
Footwork: Abdominals draw in and up, inner thighs reach into the footbar
Running: One ankle lowers, the other ankle lifts
Long Stretch Series: The midline pulls through the arms as the shoulder blades slide down the back
Elephant: Heels come under as the abs scoop up
Leg Springs: Palms push into the bars as the inner thighs reach out
Standing Chest Expansion: Arms press back, arches of the feet move forward
Push Through: Heels reach forward as abdominals scoop back
Mermaid: Spine stretches up and over as the outer hip drops
Leg Pumps: Hamstrings press down as the spine lifts up
Pull ups: Abs scoop up as the head drops between arms
Going Up Front: Inner thigh lowers as the spine stretches up
Push Ups: Spine stretches out as the elbow bends back
Short Box: Abs scoop back as tail bone drops down
Hamstring Stretch: Hip plugs back as the heel stretches away
Thigh Stretch: Thigh drops down as the spine stretches up
Swimming: Spine stretches out as the tail bone stretches back Read more!