Relaxation In Pilates
An essential but often under emphasized principle of Pilates is Relaxation. Learning to use just the amount of effort needed for a particular task without developing unnecessary tension is an important concept to keep in mind while practicing Pilates and in the rest of your life. We often think that working out should require lots of tension and effort. However, it does not need to be an all out effort of every muscle with every exercise. Basically, when doing a Pilates exercise the body must be relaxed and the person exercising learns to tense only those muscles that are working. All other muscles remain relaxed. This “selective relaxation” teaches us to use just the amount of effort needed to complete the exercise correctly, no more, no less.
In everyday life
It goes without saying that learning to release unnecessary tension in our bodies helps us to find ease and flow in movement and in the rest of our lives. The relaxation of these muscles allow us to move more effectively and to use less energy. How? Next time you are working on developing a new skill or honing an existing one like Pilates (running, golf, tennis or whatever your passion is), notice where your body is tense and ask yourself if you can release even a little of that tension. You may find that your movements become smoother, your frustration level goes down and you can suddenly see a new way to approach the problem. This is relaxation at work!
Whole Body Movement
Pilates is fundamentally about integration: integrating movement into a flowing whole body experience and integrating the mind and body to create clarity and purpose. This whole body movement is really the crux of mind body exercise. It is not tuning out while running on the treadmill with your iPod – it is an interactive form of exercise.
In everyday life
Our daily roles in life change based on our circumstances and the integration of whole body movement will allow you to transition from role to role easier and more effectively. At home, at the office, on the court, as a parent – wherever. By integrating the mind and the body you rejuvenate the spirit and are well on your way to creating a life of balance.