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Five Reasons to Commit to Pilates

(and none of them are about getting a new body).

Look, there are WAY more than five reasons why you should commit to Pilates, but I want to keep this post short and sweet, so I'll stick to five, for now.

1. Movement is medicine, motion is lotion.

There is much research now showing that movement is hugely beneficial for physical and mental health. Taking joints through their full range of motion also produces synovial fluid, which lubricates joints and keeps them moving well, helping to prevent friction, stiffness and injury. Movement also produces endorphins, which increase feelings of wellbeing and block our perception of pain.

2. It is a mindful practice which benefits mental health.

Joseph Pilates said it himself...

"Contrology is complete coordination of body, mind and spirit."

His belief that physical and mental health go hand in hand is highlighted in his book "Return to Life Through Contrology" (a must-read for Pilates teachers and enthusiasts). To perform Pilates exercises well requires focus, awareness and concentration, providing much more than just a physical workout.

3. Make new friends.

Maybe not an obvious reason to do Pilates, but I can happily tell you that I have witnessed friendships being forged in my classes that have gone on to last many years, and it is one of the things I love most about my job. I absolutely love seeing people connecting in my classes, going for a coffee afterwards, exchanging contact details, supporting each other in times of need. For some, that hour is more than just an exercise class, it is social interaction, humans connecting with humans, maybe even a lifeline.

4. Feel stronger and more in control of your body.

Because Pilates is designed to work the whole body, you will begin to notice parts of your body that maybe need a bit more attention, be it strengthening, lengthening or releasing. You will build strength using body weight (and sometimes equipment) and awareness of how your body is moving - the muscles that are working, the joints that are moving and the parts of the body that you want to remain stable. In time you will begin to feel more in control of your body, increasing your confidence to life an active and fulfilling life.

5. Focus on breathing helps to regulate nervous system.

Breathing has been a hot topic for a little while now and we are starting to learn more about the benefits of breathwork. Another subject about which Mr Joseph Pilates was way ahead of his time! He says in "Return to Life Through Contrology"...

"Breathing is the first act of life, and the last. Our very life depends on it. Since we cannot live without breathing, it is tragically deplorable to contemplate the millions and millions who have never learned to master the art of correct breathing."

The co-ordination of breathing and movement in Pilates helps to calm and focus the mind. The conscious breathwork used helps to improve the activation of the deep abdominals and pelvic floor, which support the body during the exercises, and of course, in every day life.

Why do YOU do Pilates? I'd love to hear about how it has benefitted you. Pop a comment below and share!

Marina x


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