Who moved my chi?
The present-day world has imbued within us a lot of disquiet and pressure. Stressful and chaotic are the adjectives of life today. In this scenario, peace of mind is all that one can ask for. But just sit back one second. Try to contemplate upon where you’re heading on with all the hard work you do. Is movement the key to your success such as Pilates, Yoga or Barre?
There is this rat race which everyone wants to win and no one wants to be left behind. How is that possible, and why do you want to win anyway? How did you get in this rat race in the first place? What are you getting out of all this, money? Then let me break it to you, money isn’t everything. A six-digit bill is no good if you have a mind full of negative thoughts and stress. What you need is some mindfulness.
What is this ‘mindfulness’ that is more precious than wealth?
Mindfulness refers to the ability possessed by human beings to be fully present, aware of what they’re doing and to not get carried away by what’s going around them.
Mindfulness is about letting go of feelings and not to stifle them.
How to be mindful?
The first obvious answer that you might be expecting is meditation. Sure, meditation works wonders. However, we must remember the benefits that exercise has on our body. That’s where Pilates fits in.
Developed by Joseph Pilates in the 1920s, Pilates is a low-impact exercise which aims at muscular development, postural alignment and flexibility. According to Joseph, Pilates involves complete co-ordination of body, mind and spirit.
So forget the wealth and vanities of the world and go on the voyage of body, mind and soul that is Pilates.
How does Pilates promote your peace of mind?
- Creates awareness of bodies and emotions
Pilates can be conveniently branched under mindfulness training. If you direct your attention towards your breathing and body movements for an hour, you’ll be able to become more physically and emotionally present. You learn to let go of negative emotions, control them and release emotional tension.
- Improves memory
Our brains start losing small portions of cognitive power right from our late 20s. It is a proven fact that exercise helps in generation of new brain cells and also protects the existing brain cells, reducing the shrinkage of brains. Reports also suggest that exercises such as Pilates and Yoga are more effective than aerobic exercises in bringing about mindfulness.
- Relieves stress
Through gentle stretching of muscles, Pilates relieves the tension in the joints. Stress out of the body also means stress out of the mind. It also enables you to acknowledge the tension building up in your body and tame it, resulting in an underlying sense of calm and happiness. It is a good cure for anxiety and depression.
- Trains your brain
It increases the white matter density of your brain, which helps the neurons communicate. When we move, we use specific areas of our brain. The movements hence act as cleansers for our nervous system. We can also get creative by learning new movements or modifications in a Pilates routine, which benefits the body as well as mind.
Exercise works well without automation. So many of us go to gym and let ourselves get distracted by our surroundings, or shut them down by listening to music from headphones or watching TV, doing continuous reps mindlessly.
So, remember to focus on our movements and emotions or else any exercise would be futile. If you didn’t have reason enough to try Pilates before, I hope you have now.
The Pilates Fit Tribe