“Meditation is good medicine,” remarks Pilates Anytime teacher, Tom McCook in his Embodied Presence Meditation class. He's right. A regular meditation practice can help lower blood pressure, improve mood, and relieve stress.
Taking time to meditate also offers us a chase to look inward and reflect. McCook notes, “In a busy world, cultivating the ability to collect ourselves and be present is an amazing tool... When we’re grounded and present, we have the ability to be our best selves.”
We can always make more time for self-care. Even if you meditate for just five minutes a day, you will begin to feel its benefits.
In Pilates, your breath coincides with movement. Similarly with meditation, you learn how to be still and in control your breath. Meditation also improves body awareness, which can influence how you move in your Pilates practice. The discipline required in meditation can be applied when pushing through a tough Pilates class.
Furthermore, you will feel inspired to set goals for yourself in these mind-body practices. At the start of a meditation session, we often reflect on our intentions for sitting down and taking this moment for ourselves. Ask yourself at the beginning of a Pilates class, what are my movement goals? In her Reflective, Alert Mind class, Regina Santos begins an active, Intermediate Mat class with a grounding practice to get you in-tune with your body.
Additionally, in McCook's Introduction to Pilates Anytime’s Mindful Movement program, he states, “Your body is always trying to follow what your mind is thinking.” By redirecting your attention to your goals and the present moment, you will get the most out of Pilates and meditation.
If you are new to meditation, following the below steps will guide you toward a successful practice:
Your first meditation session does not need to be long. We suggest beginning with five minutes of meditation a day and then building up to longer sessions. With gentle practice, you can easily integrate meditation into your daily routine to supplement your Pilates goals.
Has your Pilates practice benefited from meditation? Let us know in the comments below.