There are various forms of meditation and for me Pilates is the complete package combining stress relief and physical exertion.
So why can Pilates relieve stress…
Pilates teaches your mind and body to isolate muscles. In other words, during exercise, only the muscles needed for the activity should be recruited, while all other muscles remain relaxed. Through Pilates, participants learn selective relaxation of muscles not required for the task at hand. Pilates stretch and alignment exercises also help to relieve tension in muscles that people commonly hold stress.
2. Deep and Lateral Breath
Breathing is a vital part of every stress management program. It is also one of the primary principles in Pilates. It brings people back to the present moment and away from life’s distractions.
Concentration or mindfulness is another common stress management technique. There are so few things that allow you to be in the actual moment. When I first started Pilates, I discovered it was very different from the other forms of exercise I had experienced. For example, in team sports I was always thinking about the strategy and the people around me; when I ran, I found my mind wandered to anything and everything such as work, kids, dinner, chores. When in a Pilates class, I am so busy breathing, keeping my trunk in line, relaxing and contracting the correct muscles – I can’t concentrate on anything else other than making my body move! Best of all I leave a Pilates session feeling happy and re-energised.
There is a much deeper meaning behind Pilates quotes such as:
‘One must move without tenseness’
‘The body achieves what the mind believes’
‘Pilates is the complete coordination of the mind, body and spirit’
Pilates is a must try if you are looking for the ideal combination of body awareness and relief for the mind and body.