There are many similarities between yoga and pilates. Both exercises focus on building strength and increasing flexibility. However, yoga is usually the practice which people associate with a spiritual experience.
What many people don’t realise is that pilates can also enhance cognitive thought and promote positive mental welfare. The act of reflection is often intrinsic rather than guided by your class instructor, as in yoga, and there’s no OMing and chanting involved. Many people who don’t feel comfortable discussing spirituality but still want to enjoy the mental health benefits that yoga has to offer, will choose pilates instead. It’s a great way to switch off from the stress of daily life and look inwards to reflect peacefully. Taking deep breaths and being aware of your own body is sometimes enough to help you dispel stress and anxiety. We take a closer look at how pilates can assist with your mental health, and how to access the best classes in South Brisbane.
Focusing on the present
When we are plagued with worry about things that have happened or are anxious about scenarios that may occur, it can be challenging to focus on the here and now. Pilates requires concentration and body awareness; two things that demand your attention entirely if you want to get the movements right. Pilates trains your brain to focus on the present and let go of everything else that may be causing you anxiety.
Creating structure and routine
Structure and routine are important elements of everyone’s lives. It makes us feel safe and secure, and like we have a firm handle on what we’re doing. However, it can be difficult to find structure when we’re going through chaotic periods where many decisions that affect us are out of our control. This is when pilates classes can help. Often you will go through the same routine multiple times, revisiting familiar movements and positions every week. This structure can be a comfort and provides many people with a sense of security. Even though there may be a stressful amount of disorder in your life, while you are practising pilates, you have complete control over your body.
Exercise releases endorphins; it’s not a secret! Pilates will release this happiness chemical, as you push through complicated movements and learn to hold stretches long enough to build muscle. Furthermore, regular pilates classes can also become consistent social outings. Anyone who has suffered bouts of depression knows how much of a change just leaving the house can make to your mood. Attending weekly pilates classes will help you work on your body, mind and social interactions. Some very significant relationships have been formed on the mat!
Breathing exercises are a vital part of pilates lessons. Being aware of your breathing will help you to unwind and release any tension that you have been experiencing. Breathing techniques can also assist in coping with anxiety attacks as it encourages you to focus and take control. The constant stretching of muscles and emphasis on improving core strength during pilates also helps to release physical tension, which in turn, will make you feel more relaxed in both body and mind.
Where to practice pilates in South Brisbane
Do you live in Springwood, Underwood, Daisy Hill, Rochedale, Logan, Slacks Creek, Browns Plains or Beenleigh? You’re just a short drive from BodyViva; South Brisbane’s leading multidisciplinary health clinic! BodyViva provides regular pilates classes, led by trained professionals eager to assist you in aligning your body and mind to achieve balance and strength.