Sheppard Method Pilates Offers a Mind and Body Experience
Practicing Pilates is a self-care regimen that differs greatly from most other forms of exercise. This practice creates a conscious experience, encouraging the mind to activate muscles in a specific way, targeting muscle groups and movements that are unique to Pilates.
At Sheppard Method Pilates, you have the opportunity to strengthen and lengthen your body while igniting the mind, body, and soul connection in ways that are often absent in a typical gym. Our Westwood Pilates instructors encourage students to find balance, personal empowerment, and wellness through our various class options.
Learn about the mind, body, and soul connection fostered by Pilates at Sheppard Method Pilates in Westwood. Contact our office to get started.
Mind-Body Influence in Pilates
How the Mind Can Influence the Body Through Intentional Movement
Pilates teaches the art of harnessing the mind’s influence over the body as it moves through the exercises in each series. By focusing the mind on the intention of each movement, you access a deeper, finely targeted physical reaction.
Joe Pilates explained in his teachings that Pilates requires or asks of us to have conscious control of our body mechanics. This intense concentration teaches the body movements focusing on a specific sensation. Because it is so focused through the mind-body conversation, muscle groups are activated in a new and different way.
Mindfulness in movement requires us to remain present in each moment, connecting our mind, body, and soul. The stability created by this alignment increases the benefits of the Pilates practice as it increases agility, clarity, and muscle engagement.
An additional benefit of such focused practice is that it reduces the tension and strain on the body. Rather than fighting movements and bearing down (grin and bear it) like you may in a standard gym, you have a pinpoint focus on what muscles you are using in each movement.
Mindless Movement: No Distractions During Pilates
It is easy to exercise mindlessly while in the gym, out for a run, or doing cardio. Watching television, listening to music or podcasts, or chatting with your workout partner distracts from the movements themselves. This is great for just making it through a tough workout or distracting from the cold on a winter run, but it is not ideal for Pilates. These distractions disconnect the mind and body, decreasing the comprehensive benefits of the movements.
The movements in Pilates require control and are generally slow, concentrated on one muscle group, and methodical. Concentrating on centering during each movement brings us an acute awareness of the body.
The soul becomes involved when we take ourselves out of our heads and into our bodies. Pilates is unique in that it does not allow the mind to water and often needs a focused breath as well to maintain holds and proper movement. Continual concentration clears the mind, and a slow breath increases awareness, in turn aligning the soul and spirit with the body.
Pilates and the Body’s Core: Where the Soul Gets Its Fire
As the body learns the movements of Pilates and your practice grows, the movements become intuitive. It is thought that intuition lives in the mind, of course, but primarily lives in the core. Pilates classes are often primarily centered on the core muscles, specifically the stabilizing, deep muscles that other exercises do not touch.
As much as the core is the physical center of our body or our trunk, it is also the center of our soul, energy, and strength in much of Eastern philosophy. The core is the source of our soul’s “fire”. It is where the serpent lives in the practice of breathwork called Kundalini. It is where we pull the breath of fire from in yoga.
How does this pertain to Pilates? The intuitive movements connect to the spirit’s intuition that lives in the core, better known as the gut feeling. The home of intuition, emotional, and even spiritual strength is ignited each time you practice Pilates. Each exercise connects the mind through concentration, the body through physical exertion, and the soul by lighting that core fire.
Connect the Mind, Body, and Soul at Sheppard Method Pilates
Leave mindless, redundant workouts behind in favor of a comprehensive, soul-igniting Pilates practice. Your Pilates workouts can release tension, relieve emotional blockages, and bring you out of your head. Finding a mind, body, and soul connection through Pilates changes the way the body responds to movement. Once you experience the unique benefits of Pilates, you may never go back to regular workouts again.
Let the Westwood team of Pilates instructors at Sheppard Method Pilates guide you into a mind, body, and soul practice. Call us today to schedule your class.