Pilates is so much more than a method of exercise. Pilates has an effect on the mind, body, and spirit and brings about incredible changes in one’s overall being. There is an art to performing Pilates like no other exercise modality that I have ever experienced. Pilates requires focus, concentration, coordination, breath, and a sense of trust of the movement of the human body. There are over 500 exercises in the Pilates repertoire, yet they are not individual exercises in and of themselves. These exercises can be pieced together in as many different ways as the mind can imagine. Pilates can be used to bring about a change in one’s body that helps to bring about strength, flexibility, pliability, and overall function.
In the book, Energy Medicine, Adolph states: “The integrated human body is the sum of thousands of physiological processes and traits working together. Each breath and each heart beat involves the working together of countless events. Huge numbers of functions are carried on simultaneously”. I find this statement absolutely mind blowing for the simple idea of all the processes that must come together to perform a single movement that individuals are not even conscious of at the time. Adolph then goes on to state: “If there were no integration of activities, life would be a random jumble of physical and chemical events that reaches no known accomplishment”.
From this statement we know that each and every movement we make effects the entire body. Each and every movement affects all the systems of the body including but not limited to the immune system, digestive system, respiratory and cardio-vascular system. In fact, recent research is showing that our bodies are made up of thousands of cells and that each and every cell is actually made up all the systems of the body in and of itself. That is amazing! Every movement we make and every thought we have has an effect on the entire body. So a Pilates instructor may be working with someone to help them increase their core strength and improve their flexibility, but at the same time the effects can and do spread to other areas of the body as well as the mind.
So, if you believe this to be true, then you must also know that any restrictions or injuries held in the body can have consequences on the entire organism. Our bodies are quite complex made up of numerous system working simultaneously to help us function at our highest potential. Everything we do has an effect on the body as a whole. If you believe this then you have a responsibility to yourself to treat your body with the utmost respect. We must all create an environment in which our mind and bodies can function at their full potential. This environment should minimally consist of exercise, proper nutrition, healthy habits, and positive thoughts.