The mind and body connection has the potential to be powerful. The mind can be very healing for our bodies, and it can also wreak havoc. The mind and body are already connected, in fact they are inseparable, and what goes on our in minds, is often translated to something physical in our bodies. If I see something that frightens me, my heart starts to race, my pulse quickens and my body tightens up. On the other hand, when I think about something that makes me feel happy, a little bit of adrenaline picks up the excitement level and I feel lifted. Finding the way to use the mind to create meaningful actions in our bodies takes a little bit of effort.
How can you access that mind-body connection and use it in your Pilates session? Here is what I do on those days I just can't get started or excited to work out. I think about how I want to feel today. I take a step. I move my body. My mind starts to pick up the energy and I get dressed for class before I change my mind. And then...I walk out the door towards my class. Ok these are simple mind games, but they work for me. I think first about the good feelings, then my body is already in a better mood and it's easier to move.
Here are some practical thoughts on how you can make the best of your session, and come out feeling powerful.
- Think about what you want to achieve today. Make the best of your time, think about all those awesome benefits from working out. Be present in your class.
- Come a few minutes early, rather than feeling rushed and unprepared.
- Still your mind a few minutes before class. Don't look at your phone, take a call, or text anyone a few minutes prior, so you can clear your mind.
- Take a walk around the block, before you step into the studio. Clear your mind.
- Breathe. Breathing is one of the principles of Pilates. The breath helps the mind focus.
- If you find you want to chat while you workout, try to get the chatting done in the first few minutes you come in, and then settle in and focus on your body.
- Be the driver. Your teacher is there to guide you, but you need to think about how to get your body moving and blood circulating. Stay focused on yourself. Give yourself some props and cheers along the way.
- Think of something positive, pretty, happy, energetic. Get your mind off of anything negative that may have happened recently. Make an effort to connect positive thoughts to what your body does today!