“Pilates is gaining the mastery of your mind over the complete control over your body.” -Joseph Pilates
Mindful. Mind full. One space different, but complete opposites.
When your mind is full—of what you have to do tonight, of what bills you need to pay, of what you’re going to fix for dinner, of what your boss or sister or best friend said this morning—it means you’re missing out on the life that’s directly in front of you.
Being mindful means being totally aware of the present moment. It means all your other worries and concerns and have-tos and must-dos are temporarily put on hold.
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), the scientifically proven benefits of mindfulness include stress reduction, boosts to working memory, reduced rumination, better focus, less emotional reactivity, more cognitive flexibility, and increased satisfaction with their relationships.
“Evidence also suggests that mindfulness has numerous health benefits,” the APA says, including “increased immune functioning, improvement to well-being, and reduction in psychological distress.”
Others credit mindfulness with helping treat insomnia, reducing negative emotions, fostering creative thinking, lowering blood pressure, and improving cardiovascular health.
So what exactly is this “miracle” practice? The dictionary defines mindfulness as “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.”
Jon Kabat-Zinn, who helped popularize the concept of mindfulness, explains it this way: “Your life is the sum of your present moments, so if you’re missing lots of them, you may actually miss much of your children’s infancy and youth, or beautiful sunsets, or the beauty of your own body. You may be tuning out all sorts of inner and outer experiences simply because you’re too preoccupied with where you want to get, what you want to have happen, and what you don’t want happen.”
For the mental break that will put a brake on your scattered, stressful thinking, look no further than Pilates In the Grove. Because the practice of Pilates that we offer here is the essence of mindfulness.
Unlike traditional exercise methods that focus primarily, or even exclusively, on the body, the Pilates system promotes the health of body, mind, and spirit through a series of carefully controlled movements designed to fully integrate these three essential components of a healthy life.
Because of the intricacies of the Pilates movements, your mind must be fully engaged in the present moment as you concentrate on the correct posture while coordinating your breathing and tensing some muscles while relaxing others. Our instructors will gently guide you to pay full attention to your form, alignment, breath, and balance.
With the mind so completely occupied with so many factors right in front of you, your have no choice but to “live in the moment,” providing the mental break we all so desperately need in these hectic times.