Don’t you have those days when you just feel all over the place?
Well, it’s no wonder – with constantly buzzing phones and flickering screens, our attention spans have become noticeably shorter. Our capacity to concentrate on just one thing has dissolved, leaving our minds free for the taking by whatever makes the most noise.
Mindfulness and meditation have become popular for a reason. In a world that just won’t be quiet, it’s up to us to take control and bring ourselves back into alignment. An hour of Pilates is perfect for those days when your brain is completely over-stimulated – it’s an exercise in connecting your mind and your body, leaving nothing left over for distraction.
This is why you should consider Pilates as a mindfulness exercise:
- Pilates is an exercise in breath control
We breathe 30,000 times a day, mostly subconsciously. But when we are feeling stressed or anxious, this number increases, with shallower, sharper breaths. If sustained, it leads to hyperventilation – which in turns caused more stress.
The opposite of hyperventilation is ‘belly breathing’ (or ‘diaphragmatic breathing’, to be technical). Pilates – whether mat or reformer – is an exercise in diaphragmatic breath control. Breath out to extend, breath in to return…
When you are controlling your breath, you are being mindful. Especially after five minutes of glutes, when it’s all you can think about!
- Pilates is an exercise in mind-body connection
Joseph Pilates had six principles: centring, concentration, control, precision, breath and flow. All these techniques use your mind as much as your body.
Pilates stems from the use of your deep core muscles – your abdominals, obliques, pelvic floor, erector spinae and multifidus. You can lie on your back and mindlessly circle your legs around in the air, or you can connect to your deep core muscles.
This mindful use of muscles means you’ll leave each class feeling concentrated, connected and strong.
- It’s an exercise in body awareness
You know the feeling: you thought you were doing it right, but a teacher gently corrected you and oh boy, the burn! Pilates helps you improve your posture through body awareness – that is, knowing how your body should feel when it’s aligned and strong.
Put simply, Pilates is the ultimate exercise in mindfulness. While meditation alone can help with calming your mind, there’s nothing like a full-body workout to start or end your day.
So for a strong body and a sharp mind, book into one of our classes at The Body Refinery in Brisbane.