One of the buzzwords that has been trending in the wellness space for a while now is ‘mindfulness’, which is simply being in the present, in the now.
With mental health and the importance of the body, mind and spirit connect in holistic wellbeing garnering more and more relevance in today’s context, it is prudent to include a meditative practice into your regular fitness regime. Now we’ve often heard that practicing Classical Pilates enhances one’s focus and concentration. For instance, this means that you are able to enjoy a good book without your mind straying to the notifications on your phone. Or that you can simply soak in a great view in front of you, while doing nothing else. Studies have shown that children and teenagers too, who practice Pilates are able to focus better on their studies, with improved concentration levels.
The reason why Pilates is considered to be a mindful practice is the emphasis on the breath. The Lateral Breathing technique we teach and practice ensures that the practitioner’s every move is consciously, deliberately synchronized with either an inhalation or an exhalation, requiring them to focus on exactly what the body is doing. Additionally, being a heavily instruction-driven movement form, one cannot simply disconnect from what’s happening in a lesson or a class. The common misconception is that mindfulness can only be practiced by sitting cross-legged, with closed eyes and meditating or chanting.
I personally feel that monitoring your breath, synchronising your body’s movements with it and trying to ‘feel’ the flow of the breath through your body can be equally beneficial, if not more. Have you seen the difference in your concentration levels with regular practice of Pilates? I’d also love to know if you practice any other techniques to improve upon your mental health.
Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below or writing to me on firstname.lastname@example.org”.