“The Pilates Method of body conditioning is complete coordination of body, mind and spirit.” Joseph Pilates said that. But what does he mean? Whole body conditioning is bigger than the musculoskeletal: yes, Pilates trains your body but it also trains your mind.
Mind-body connection will improve your form, but it’s also a therapeutic mechanism. Mastering the ability to connect precise movement with intention, observe and respond to movement mindfully in your body is how we unlock the true, “whole body” potential of this Method.
- Smarten up
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign reported in the Journal of Physical Activity & Health that mindful movement, like Pilates, significantly improves cognitive performance when compared to aerobic exercise. This means improved memory, attention span, communication skills, learning, problem solving, reasoning and decision making processes.
In Pilates, skill and challenge (mental and physical) is high and varied. We take direction, learn repertoire, explore new and challenging ways to move, test the limits of our physicality and mental toughness: and no two sessions are the same. We are asked to focus our thoughts on execution of movement and simultaneously consider and learn from our own responses. In Pilates, we’re always building and refining skills. We’re training to move and think better: for life!
- Better body chatter
In simplified anatomical terms, the brain fires impulses through the spinal cord to muscle fibres to create movement. Deep, precise muscle recruitment fires movement chains from brain to body: like a clean rinse of the nervous system. Smart, controlled movement lubricates these pathways, improves communication and releases delicious stress-fighting, mood-boosting hormones in the process.
- Find your calm
Mindfulness is less about spirituality and more about concentration. It’s about the ability to quieten your mind, direct your focus on the present, dismiss distractions and find harmony using awareness of the breath and physical movement together. Pilates helps to tame and drive stress out of the body, and maintain an underlying sense of calm that we can carry with us into everyday life!
- Balance body and mind
When stress hormones build up in the body they can manifest as pain, aches, spasms, hypertension, anxiety, depression and more. Pilates helps us to metabolise the build-up of stress hormones by getting your heart rate up, loading and releasing the fascia strategically, to balance the body and fortify the mind.
- Positive stress
When we positively stress (challenge) the body we produce endorphins. That’s one of the many reasons we emphasise commitment: stay focused on your practice, build skills for mind and body, and you will feel content for it.
- Pilates-happy mind and life
With time and consistent practice, Pilates teaches us how to understand and respect our body and mind. How to “be” in space, how to think about the space we hold and with it, grows confidence. If you love Pilates, it will make you happy: from the inside out!
Learn more about how you can make a start with Pilates at PFI on our Buy page; or drop us a line on (08) 9330 8900 for a tour of our Studios and a chat.