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Mindfulness and Pilates

Mindfulness and Pilates  

It is commonly said that “Pilates enhances our mental wellness”. Pilates can help reduce stress, improve memory and focus, and generally make us happier. This is primarily due to the wonders of mindfulness.

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is: “Paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.” – Kabat-Zinn. Simply focusing on the now. This might mean walking down the street without looking at your phone, or being able to enjoy coffee with a friend without worrying about the next day. One of the key aspects of mindfulness is connecting with the present ‘non-judgmentally’, so if you find your mind wandering or your hand reaching for your phone, recognize it and come back to the now.

How does mindfulness fit into Pilates? 

Pilates has a focus on breath, centering and body placement. In order to incorporate these elements into your Pilates practice, you need to focus and concentrate. Therefore, a certain amount of mindfulness is required.

How could you start to implement mindfulness right now?

There is a common misconception that mindfulness practice has to involve meditation and a yoga mat. Whilst this may be the case for some, there are many others ways you can implement mindfulness into your daily life and reap the benefits.

Here are a few simple ways:

  1. Get in touch with your surroundings through each sense. Identify three things you can hear, three things you can see, three things you can smell, and three things you can touch.
  2. Get in touch with your breath. Pause, be still, and take three breaths. Identify where in the body you feel the air go and which body parts movement during each breath.
  3. Get in touch with your body. Pause, be still, and take a moment to scan each part of your body. Simply recognise which parts feel tight or tense, and which parts feel relaxed.
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