Think Pilates is just good for your body? Think again.
This Thursday, Australians acknowledge RUOK? Day – a national day of action dedicated to reminding everyone to ask, “Are you OK?” and to remember every day of the year to support people who may be struggling with life’s ups and downs.
So, we got thinking about the effect Pilates can have on the mind and emotional state. It’s well known that exercise not only has a positive impact on the body but also on the mind. So how does Pilates achieve this exactly?
It trains you to be mindful
Mindful by nature, Pilates requires full concentration. Each and every movement is so precise that practicing Pilates demands focus, meaning there’s not much room left for other thoughts, including those anxious ones! Training your brain to be mindful is a skill that will set you in good stead for when anxious, stressed or depressed times come about, allowing you to centre in and focus on the present moment.
Remaining balanced, focusing on the breath and executing the moves perfectly is the task at hand when it comes to Pilates, so leave your stresses at the door and allow yourself an hour to totally focus on you.
“Pilates is the perfect antidote for a stressed, anxious mind. The movements require full concentration, making it easy to switch off from whatever is happening outside the studio and be fully present” – Pure Moves Client
It encourages a healthy lifestyle
When we’re in extreme states of stress, the best things we can do is practice a little #selfcare. And we’re not just talking about spending exorbitant amounts of money on essential oils or massages every day. (Although, that does sound good!) Attending regular Pilates classes encourages you to extend the practice into your daily life. These could be small adjustments such as swapping out that third coffee for herbal tea, nourishing your body with good, whole foods and prioritizing rest over big boozy nights out.
It’s easy to reach for another glass of wine or comfort food when things aren’t going so well in life, but this can have the opposite effect on our mental state. Pilates and the community that surrounds it promotes healthy living which is the key to improving mental health. But we’ll never say no to a vino!
It allows for better sleep
Any physical exercise, tires the muscles and the mind, encouraging a more restful night’s sleep. When you sleep well at night, you perform so much better throughout the day. You’ll also be surprised at how much more stable your moods are when you are well rested, creating space for you to work through whatever life is throwing your way at the moment as well as finding the joy in moments and with friends and family.
“I was going through a really stressful time in my personal life and Pilates saved me. I made a promise to myself to attend daily classes and not only did I notice a change in my physical state, but my mental and emotional health benefited too. I became so much more mindful of how I was feeling and could actively shut off my anxious thoughts. My sleep improved and I was so focused at work too!” – Pure Moves Client
You’ll gain a whole new family
The social aspect of Pilates (or any exercise/sporting commitment) is so important for those struggling with mental health. Social interaction and encouragement from others is such an important part of life. We believe coming regularly to a class provides a real sense of belonging. Before you know it, you’ll have gained a whole new set of friends through our gorgeous instructors and fellow members. We’re so proud of the beautiful community we’ve created at Pure Moves and we want it to be your space where you feel safe and at home.
I have struggled over the years, on and off, with my inner thoughts (demons) and I have often turned to exercise. Usually running or walking, to help with this, which has provided some relief. Since becoming a member at Pure Moves and attending regular classes of Pure PHIT and Pilates Mat, it has slowly I have realized that a Pilates class is not only beneficial to my body, but to my mind as well. It really is a form of meditation as it keeps me ‘present’ having to really concentrate on what I am doing, and this has flowed into my everyday life. I am loving the feeling of ‘belonging’ too, meeting new friends. The instructors are fantastic, so knowledgeable, warm and welcoming. – Kim
Need to clear your mind? Book in for a class or just come and hang out and have a tea with us. We always love to see you!