Mindfulness and Pilates

When does our movement become Mindful? Hopefully, most of the time in our Pilates classes!

Now in our second lockdown, it will be causing more worries and uncertainties amongst us all. For many it will be bringing real challenges and therefore it is more important than ever to look after our mental health and well-being.

What is Mindfulness?

It is about being present, living in the moment. It will be a great tool to help you through challenging times of life such as now. It is quite easy to rush through life without stopping to take much notice. However, paying more attention to the present moment and to your own thoughts and feelings and to the world around you can help you to improve your mental well-being.

How can Pilates help us to be more Mindful?

We know that to perform Pilates well it is important to concentrate on the Pilates Principles

The Pilates Principles are:

  1. Breathing
  2. Centering
  3. Concentration
  4. Control
  5. Precision
  6. Flow

How many of these Principles need a disciplined mind? The answer…. all of them! The mind must help the body to bring focus and attention to its Centre/Core, the mind must concentrate on becoming present and control the body and its movements. It must also tell the body to improve it’s movements, add precision and flow to them and to breathe in a balanced rhythm during the exercises. What a lot to think about!

When doing Pilates, it is important to be mindful and to take note of how the body feels to get maximum impact and work from your muscles. In my classes I try to get you focusing on different areas of the body and particular muscles, to notice how the movement feels and be aware of differences in the body from one side to another in order to stay focussed and on task.  You are aware of the instructions I am giving, of your own breath, which muscles are switched on and which ones are relaxed. You are in the present; you are experiencing mind body movement.

Sometimes we can be easily distracted! How can we stay in the moment and what might be the benefits?

Our minds can easily wander and often do!  You can practice mindfulness by focussing on your breath, an area of the body or something in the room to come into the present. The life we are in is in the moment. By practicing mindfulness regularly, you may feel less stressed, feel less pain or discomfort, sleep better or perhaps feel happier and less anxious. We can all benefit in different ways. So, open your mind, keep paying attention to the moment as it happens without judgement and enjoy the relaxing and calming benefits of mindfulness and Pilates.

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