Ever found yourself thinking about a Sainsbury’s shop whilst sequentially doing a Spine Curl? Mentally restacking the fridge whilst restacking your spine? Or do you find it hard to make a to-do list whilst doing windmill arms and a double leg stretch?
Mindfulness is the buzz word, but Joseph Pilates was well ahead of the trend. He knew that a session of Pilates requires you to stay focused, and in the moment, acknowledging and focusing on your body as it moves through the different exercises. As you focus on making sure your spine returns sequentially to the mat, keeping those hip ‘headlights’ facing forward, not squashing the ladybird oh, and matching the breath to the movement, you are connecting your mind and body, being in the moment. You are practising and developing your mindfulness.
So, whilst running, walking and cycling may give us valuable headspace where we can let our minds wander, regular Pilates can help maintain and develop our increasingly essential levels of concentration in a fast-paced, constantly demanding world. As we continue to slog through the winter, trying to dodge the coughs and colds, we can often be so focused on the physical that we can forget our heads need some love and care too.
So, a regular session of Pilates isn’t just building your stability and mobility, but it’s head therapy too: training your mind to push out that voice reminding you to buy some more kale/ice cream, and allowing you your whole 60 minutes to ‘be here now’.