Aside from all the physical benefits of regular Pilates practice, Pilates can also have a huge impact on mental health.
As an instructor, I have seen and felt the physical benefits of Pilates and love how much stronger I have become over many years of practice. I also hugely enjoy seeing my clients improve over time. The first effect seems to be improvement in muscle tone and flexibility, and then over time it becomes apparent how much Pilates can help you find a clearer mind, inner serenity, and calm focus.
In the busy world that we are in, which doesn’t show any signs of slowing down, I feel that Pilates practice is not just a good idea, but an essential. When else in our day do we take 2 whole minutes to stand still and focus on our posture, feel our inward and outward breath, or take note of how our body feels in each moment?
When Pilates brings you ‘into the moment’, and you take the time to focus on these details, this can be classed as mindfulness practice. Mindfulness is a technique that can help you calm your mind, particularly if you have a lot to think about.
I try to talk as openly as I can about my mental health, and as someone who lives with anxiety I find Pilates and Mindfulness practice have a huge impact on my day-to-day calmness. Admittedly, some days I feel like I don’t have the time to be calm, or I feel too impatient for the practice, but regardless, I try to do it. It also means that not every practice is perfect (far from it!!), but I always have the sense of accomplishment once I’ve completed it.
In your next class, see if you can take note of how your body feels in each exercise. When you lie down for your stretch, see if you can take note of how your mat supports you, and how your body feels when you take that full body stretch.
I hope this has helped you, if you have any experiences to share then I would love to hear them! Please do let me know by dropping me a message, or writing a post in the K Fit Fam Facebook Group.