(gtag.js) Pilates & Self Care

Pilates & Self Care

pilates & self care Sep 06, 2020

Photo by evgenyatamanenko 

Making your own health and fitness a priority is not selfish, but vital, not only for yourself but also for the people who rely on you for love and support.  We've all heard the old saying cautioning us to take care of ourselves first, as we can't pour from an empty cup.  Well, actually you can try and many of us are constantly ignoring warning signs and pushing beyond our limits.  However, continually giving to others when you are completely emotionally and physically depleted yourself leads to both short and long term health issues.  A wise practitioner once used a very effective analogy when she said told me it was like continually adding charges to a credit card for years on end without making any repayments. There will come a day when you will have to repay the debt you have amassed or take the consequences of losing your house or declaring bankruptcy.  In other words, if you neglect your own health needs, you are setting yourself up for a future of illness, taking years off your life expectancy.  Now that I've thoroughly terrified you, let's stop staring at the problem and actively seek some solutions!

Practicing Pilates - Time Out To Reconnect
For those of you who have already experienced the amazing benefits of Pilates, you understand that your Pilates practice time is such a positive, productive experience of time out from the word, just for you.  It's your time to quieten your mind, observe your body and listen to what it is telling you.  In my studio, I always ask each client for an update on how they are feeling in terms of any issues they are currently dealing with, before they start their session, so I know what we need to focus on.  I can't tell you how many times clients have confidently assured me they feel fine, only to discover numerous issues with their bodies during the session, that they wouldn't have become aware of if it weren't for Pilates.  Many clients arrive at the studio stressed from work, or family issues having battled through traffic,  watching the clock to make it to their session on time.  Often they aren't aware of any physical issues they are dealing with, as they are operating on overload to fulfill their daily commitments resulting in becoming disconnected from their bodies.  We are designed to adapt to whatever we have to cope with so we become accustomed to functioning under high stress but long term, just like a massive credit card debt, you will pay for it eventually.  Pilates is a mental and physical holiday for your mind and body.  So when you start your Pilates session lying on your back, you are drawing your attention to yourself and you begin to go within.  You become aware of your breathing and the true state of your body and it's needs.  Over time, your body awareness becomes so finely tuned you will be able to improve your posture, become pain-free, prevent injury and enjoy an overall sense of wellbeing.

Practicing Pilates  - Recharge & Revitalize
in addition to providing time out from a busy world and developing body awareness, the more experienced you become at Pilates the greater the rewards.  Movement is an extremely powerful tool and essential for our survival.  When this is combined with mindfulness and breath as in Pilates we can create enormous positive change in our lives.  Too much movement can deplete our energy levels, such as running a marathon, but controlled movement in the correct dose can be therapeutic, recharging our energy levels leaving us feeling revitalized and ready to give to ourselves and others.  JS Mind Body Pilates, my online Pilates studio, provides high-quality pilates tuition for all levels.  It also includes guided relaxation sessions using the breath which are perfect for restoring calm and maintaining focus.  If you haven't already signed up take the free 10 day trial to access the library and start your Pilates journey now. 

Self Care Beyond Pilates
A series of small changes can really contribute to ensuring you are nurturing your own health and wellbeing a priority.  In addition to your Pilates practice look at these areas of your life and see if there is any room for improvement.  It's very easy to allow good habits that you have established to gradually slip away, so start by examining your sleep, diet and water intake.  If you know you could improve here, think of some small changes you could implement immediately.  Do you need to go to sleep earlier or wake up earlier, drink more water, or add more vegetables to your diet?  Be honest with yourself and gradually keep making changes that will ensure you maintain high standards of self care.  Lastly, an area that most people relate to is being comfortable with saying "no" when people make demands on their time.  Each time you say "yes" to something out of obligation that will have negative consequences, just remember that you are actually saying "no" to yourself.  Denying yourself repeatedly adds up over time and that debt on the credit card is steadily increasing.  So don't be afraid to put yourself first. Try to find joy in simple things as much as possible such as watching a sunset, playing with pets, or the children in your life.  Stay as present as possible and enjoy each moment, despite what is happening in the world we still have many things to be incredibly grateful for.  It's a constant juggling act for all of us to keep our health and wellbeing on track without exceeding the credit card limit.  However, it's well worth the effort and ensures we can live our best life possible, both for ourselves and those around us. As I always say, investing in your own health and fitness is the best investment you can ever make!


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