Pilates, Health and Happiness:
Joseph Pilates said, “The first requisite for happiness is a healthy body”.
Not only is it attractive to have a fit body with excellent posture and strong muscles, but it is also an asset for your self-esteem system. People who engage in a combination of focused mind and body exercises are shown to be happier.
Through the Pilates Method of Body Conditioning, this unique trinity of a balanced body, mind and spirit can ever be attained. Self-confidence follows.
In my personal experience, I have found that Pilates is far more than just a work out. Those who regularly practice Pilates in a studio will understand what I’m talking about. It is completely different to a gym or fitness class when done properly. You aren’t just there to feel the muscles burn and sweat. There is a lot of mind work involved, as one is constantly thinking about the muscles being activated or released and aiming to move the body segmentally, in a smooth and controlled fashion.
Pilates will not only sculpt your body, it will cleanse your mind, giving you energy and inner serenity. One of my absolute favourite things about Pilates, is that it teaches you to be completely yourself. In the Pilates studio we never expect you to be at a certain level or to compare yourself with anyone else. You are given an initial assessment to enable us to tailor a specific program for you, one that will give you a unique set of exercises for you to reach your goals.
Over the years that I have practiced and taught Pilates, I have noticed some significant changes in my body, but most importantly in my mind. To hear clients walk out of the studio saying how good their body feels after a session, or to see them walk out as different person with a whole new, positively-charged mindset is the most beautiful thing to experience as a teacher.
Our world is full of stress and chaos. We all need a place to escape the craziness and focus on healing our body, mind and soul. Pilates is a simple tool that can help each and every one of us find balance in our day to day life.
Finding other endurance activities to add to your program is also very beneficial. Find something that you love; dancing, walking, running, swimming, because eagerly pursuing an activity that you love, will not only produce happy endorphins, but you will also find that it is easy to maintain.
In many shamanic societies, if you came to a shaman or medicine person complaining of being disheartened, dispirited or depressed, they would ask one of four questions:
- When did you stop dancing?
- When did you stop singing?
- When did you stop being enchanted by stories?
- When did you stop finding comfort in the sweet territory of silence?
So, when did you last move your body? What words are you using to inspire, create and spread love? In your day, did you make time to have a moment to yourself, escaping the craziness in our busy world?
These two forms of movement, awareness and endurance training, not only keep the physiology of our bones, muscles and hearts healthy, but also work to reduce stress, improve digestion and stimulate overall health. Most importantly, these exercises make you happy!! What more could you ask for??
It’s never too late. This is your body, your mind, your home.