Pilates isn’t just for the studio, the practise is meant to overspill into everyday life. If all you get out of it is a class that leaves you feeling you have worked hard, released tight areas, exhaled your stress and shifted your focus from life’s stress to your body, then that is good….. but you are missing the added bonus. Pilates is a discipline, so much like meditation or religion, it is meant to be practiced daily and to influence how you life your life. I’ve gone a bit deep there I know. So let’s unpack it a little.
The Pilates basics include breathing, core activation, control, concentration, precision and flow. All things we need everyday.
Breathing correctly can help relieve stress and intra-abdominal pressure. Just the act of breathing alone can release tension, reduce anxiety and strengthen your core.
Knowing how to use your core will make everyday movements safer and protect your lower back. For example lifting a heavy load. If you have a solid understanding of Pilates you will naturally exhale on the lifting phase, engage your core and lift with good posture. Thus protecting your back, keeping tension out of your neck and shoulders and using the power in your legs and bum.
Rotating with good technique using your obliques can prevent twinges in your back and tension in the shoulders. Squatting or lunging rather than bending will ensure you use the global leg and bum muscles and not puts strain on the lower back. All techniques you can learn in your Pilates class.
The concentration use in Pilates can be transferred into your work and home life. Being able to clear your mind and bring your focus to your body, is a useful relaxation technique and can bring mental clarity. People often leave the studio feeling calmer, refreshed, less anxious and more in control of life.
I personally love the control and flow in Pilates being able to go from one movement to the next using a natural rhythm and flow has a certain beauty to it. If you can apply that to the tasks you have to do in day-to-day life, life becomes more beautiful! It is something to aspire to. Flowing from one task to another, multi-tasking in a calm, concentrated manner and being precise in all you do.