Your mental health and Pilates
Keep your focusLike with anything new, focus is essential in Pilates for optimum practice. Interrupting your thought pattern and the cycle of your brain (including potential negative thoughts), enables the mind some rest-bite from whatever is plaguing you.
Find your breathMuch like yoga, there are plenty of positions in Pilates that encourage you to breathe deeply. A real, belly breath. When we’re stressed, we often take shallow, short breaths, raising our shoulders instead of expanding the belly, keeping tension in the body. When we breathe deeply, we activate the hypothalamus region of the brain, connected to the pituitary gland which regulates our body’s hormone and neurohormone distribution. When the hypothalamus region is activated with the breath, neurohormones that prevent stress are released triggering a relaxation state in the body.
Train for stressPilates acts as a stress reliever. In modern-day situations it can be difficult to rid ourselves of the daily frustrations such as traffic, queues, un-helpful colleagues, rudeness etc. and these emotions can build up over time, settling as stress hormones in our body. These hormones manifest in our muscles creating tight, painful bodies with little flexibility. With regular practise, Pilates conditions the body to stretch out these tensions and enables muscles to be better prepared for holding stress.
The link between mind and bodyA lot can be measured about our emotions, thoughts and feelings towards ourselves by the way we present and hold our body. With Pilates, your core and spine are two key areas that are gradually manipulated to encourage healthy posture. A recent study by the Mental Health Foundation cited that ‘participants felt more content, more awake and calmer after being physically active compared to after periods of inactivity. They [researchers] also found that the effect of physical activity on mood was greatest when mood was initially low.’ Suitable for men and women of all ages if you’re keen to try Pilates, you can use our search tool to find a qualified instructor
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