It’s fair to say ‘Pilates’ is not the easiest exercise discipline to practice. There is a lot going on coordinating the breath, core engagement and the movement pattern; but like anything else that has true value, it’s well worth the investment of time, energy and brain cells, to master and get the most benefit from the system. If Pilates is approached mindlessly, frustration and even boredom may well set in, not to mention the risk of injury or the disheartening result of no results. Which is why your mind must be as much involved in your practice as your body.
There are six principles the founder of Pilates ‘Joseph H. Pilates’ impressed upon his students as being essential to the system, these are Breathing, concentration, control, centuring, precision and flow. Other principles added over the years include, alignment, relaxation and coordination, that are no less crucial to a good Pilates experience. There is much to consider and it may seem a little overwhelming but with the guidance of a good teacher all these aspects can be developed over time – and that is the other key element here – Time – because so many people give up their Pilates practice prematurely, right before they are about to reach that sweet spot when everything falls into place!
So here are a few practical tips to help you reach that Pilates utopia…
First of all arrive to your practice on time, it’s no good if you arrive late, all flustered and tense, the session will be over before your body relaxes enough to get deep into those muscle fibres.
Next, engage mentally, leave everything about work, or the kids or what to cook for dinner at the door, keep your mind on your muscles and your muscles on your mind!
Finally, give it time and commitment, you must practice regularly, every week for several months to truly connect but once you start seeing and feeling the benefits, you’ll be so glad you persevered.
– This article has been published in the June edition of Life Magazines – http://www.lifemagazines.co.uk