Think you don’t have time for Pilates/mindful movement?

Especially during your busiest times these 10 reasons are your WHY! (why it is important, and how it only takes a few moments in your day) .

Coming back to working with the mind after all the years of teaching Pilates and Nia I often find myself seated for a bigger portion of my day. I didn’t realize how quickly my body and especially my strength would change. For the first time in over 20 years I am experiencing what has often been a challenge to my clients, the juggle of balancing my health and worklife. So I have started implementing short Pilates sessions during my day – I often refer to them as mindful movement sessions too as they are infused with Yoga and many other influences on my teaching method. Adding these 15 to 45 minutes of mindful movement even into my busiest days has been my own transformational journey and lead me to start the be.moved movement (you are welcome to join our group on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2316671438584796/)

My short slow Pilates/mindful movement sessions become essential to recharge and give back to my body, mind and spirit. When we slow our Pilates/movement practice down, focusing more consciously on our breath and taking a few extra moments within a position to really feel the body, our practice becomes nourishing. Offering us a beautiful chance to turn inward and nurture the calm, quiet center that is innate in all of us – allowing us to reconnect, feel and be. I do this movement sequence in stillness when possible, paying attention to patience, my awareness of my body and without force or reactivity (you can join me on the be.moved facebook group where I share my movement sequence, see link above).

When we practice this way of being with our body during movement we become adept at self-care. We become better listeners due to the practice of tuning into the body; we become wiser as we get to know ourselves from the inside out; and we become more curious about the world through the exploration of our own inner worlds.

To slow down your Pilates session/movement sequence is to surrender into the moment—such a novel and therapeutic concept in our modern-day lives. Observed by an outsider (or even to you when you watch a session on our group page) such a movement sequence may appear uneventful. But if you are able to tune in, you will encounter some pretty fascinating events occurring in the layers beneath the skin.

  1. Help your body restore range of motion.

For healthy range of motion, layers of connective tissue must allow muscles to glide over each other. But injury, habitual posture in daily life, and aging, among other factors can bind these connective tissues together, creating so-called adhesions and restricting that movement between the sliding surfaces of the muscles. Like a traffic jam, adhesions block the flow of nutrients and energy through the body, causing pain and limiting mobility. Sustaining Pilates/mindful movement positions that gently lengthen the muscles and fascia helps break up adhesions, applying mild stress mindfully to joints these connective tissues in turn can increase their range of motion.

  1. Revitalize the tissues of your body.

Our body’s tissues can be revived. The most important is to bring awareness into your movement. This is most easily done when we slow our movement sequence down and bring in more of the lengthening movements. When we go deeper into the feeling of our body during movement/Pilates we allow the tissues to lengthen, hydrate, and become more pliable. If you pay close attention, you can sense the tissues being stretched, squeezed, twisted, and compressed…in a way you will feel as though you had a massage.

  1. Cultivate gratitude for the body.

Journeying into awareness of the body by slowing down our Pilates/mindful movement practice, allows us access to the deeper layers of ourselves, we tune into our inner workings, connecting to respiratory and circulatory functions, internal organs, and sensations within the muscles and joints. This heightened awareness of the physiological processes of the body ultimately moves us closer to contentment, and reminds us how remarkable we really are.

  1. Mindful movement makes us slow down and observe.

Staying within a Pilates/mindful movement position for longer offers us a chance to marinate in awareness of sensation, the body, the breath and perhaps the stillness that exists within us when we surrender. When you allow yourself to stay present and experience the shifts that occur while holding a movement, time opens up. Deadlines, commitments, pressing matters, and to-do lists fade to the background, leaving tremendous space for rest and renewal.

  1. Mindful observation during nurturing movement builds self-compassion.

The ability to tend to all facets of ourselves (physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual) is fundamental to our wellbeing. The act of mindful movement, entering movements with curiosity of your body’s unique set of needs, listening to the body, mind and emotions during an exercise is a true form of self-care and loving kindness towards ourselves.

  1. Chance to connect to your emotions.

Our bodies store emotions, and it’s not uncommon for sensitive thoughts, feelings, and memories to surface while practicing any form of mindful movement. When we slow our Pilates/mindful movement practice down we have a chance to bring even more awareness, embrace a gentle, patient and nonforceful or reactive approach to or movement. When emotions bubble to the surface, we can observe these as we have been practicing the observation of our bodies and this creates a safe environment for us to be with these emotions rather than to react to them.

  1. Become more resilient to stress.

Challenging our body to different exercises especially when we hold these positions can provoke anxiety. But when we approach these movements with tenderness, the body acclimates. Surrender or giving up the need to control a situation is a lesson that we can carry with us into our day-to-day lives. The ability to adapt to the ups and downs of life and to manage change with grace can lessen our predisposition to stress. A great tool to take with you today: observe your breath. Taking deeper breaths when you encounter feelings of stress will already soften your mind and your body (read more below on breathing).

  1. Tap into the parasympathetic nervous system.

Adding Diaphragmatic breathing, or belly breathing, to each session is a powerful way to trigger the parasympathetic nervous system. You may have heard some of the reasons activating the parasympathetic nervous system is beneficial (stress, tension, blood pressure, sleep, digestion, immune function, hormones, etc)—and that most of us don’t do it often enough. Instead, we spend our days locked in sympathetic nervous system overdrive, constantly being pulled from one overly important deadline to another. Belly breathing can be a quick and easy way to change this.

Pay close attention while breathing from the abdomen and in no time you will notice a significant shift. It may feel like a wave of relaxation washes over the body. The deepest layers of the belly soften, the forehead tingles, and the brain relaxes. It’s as if the whole body takes a prolonged sigh. As you add this to your practice more regularly you will find breath slows down significantly drawing you deeper and deeper into this parasympathetic, or relaxation, mode. This is where the internal organs get a chance to catch up on their to-do list (digest, eliminate toxins, heal, repair).

  1. Mindful movement primes you for meditation.

Meditation is not something you have to find; creating an environment for relaxation often has meditation find you. We rarely see who we really are because the cloud of thoughts and distractions that block our view. When we create opportunities for slower movement, breath and physical stillness, we also create the perfect conditions for the brain to become clear. In these precious moments, we are able to see our true selves.

  1. Cultivate balance.

Your own health and wellbeing is a balancing act. Many of us live very active lifestyles and leave little or no time to foster the quiet, introspective side. Over time this can be physically, mentally, and emotionally draining. Through breath and a slow and mindful movement practice we can restore equilibrium and feel whole.

About Jeanne

Jeanne has worked with the body for 25 years. As an avid Sportswomen she has been fascinated by movement, fluid strength, rehabilitation and integrating mind & body. As a qualified Psychotherapist Jeanne embarked on her journey of deeper study of human behaviour in 2017 along her body work. Today she has brought the two (mind & body) together in Think Silver Studio and through her be.moved movement, sharing her knowledge with the world through her online membership and connecting with people in person through her workshops, one-on-one coaching and her transformational retreats that she hosts in South Africa (for more information you can contact Jeanne directly: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

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