I read an article the other day and it said, “Pilates isn’t a mind-body exercise in the meditative way that Yoga, Tai Chi, or Qi Gong are, but it does use your mind to influence and improve your body.”
It seems evident to me that this author has probably never experienced a Pilates workout! And in my study of Pilates, Yoga, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, and meditation, I believe that these great mind-body methods are more similar than one might think for improving whole-body health.
- All have underlying principles & philosophies behind the exercises. And even meditation (sitting still) is an exercise!
- Each Mind-Body method has a system of utilizing the breath, and specific breathing patterns to improve technique and maximize benefits from your practice.
- All require, concentration, coordination, and improve whole-body health, balance, and body control.
It’s not just, let’s move the body, but let’s be aware, in-tune, and conscious of what we’re doing, how, we’re doing it, the initiation point, end point, and in-between points for every movement.
I think it’s wonderful that we have options for focused fitness and enhanced wellness for improved mind-body health. There is a method out there to help meet the needs of each of us as individuals. And if you want to develop and fine-tune your skills, cross-training and exploring different mind-body methods may give you an increased appreciation for your body, health, and the ancient wisdom that is at the root of each of these techniques.
Look for my series of upcoming posts on the benefits of each of these great mind-body methods.
- Qi Gong / Chi Gung
- Martial Arts
And I’m curious to know… What’s your #1 favorite Mind-Body Wellness method? Answer the survey, and if you have a moment – tell me why it’s your choice in the comment section below.
A good friend recommended the book Autobiography of a Yogi, by Paramahansa Yogananda to me a while ago, and I’ve been slowly working my way through it! It is an excellent read for anyone interested in a life story filled with exceptional information about the spiritual journey of a man, and Yogi, and religious insights for health, wellness, and enlightenment.
I have personally gleaned many little gems of information that have added deeper dimensions of perspective and awareness to my life, and I’m only half-way through the book on my first read. Some books I don’t care to read more than once, this book I look forward to reading again, but with a pen and highlighter in hand next time through so I can mark the passages and insights that have relevance to my life that it would be great to quickly find for reference and review.
I have not done much yoga in my life yet, nor am I completely up to speed on the culture and religious values of the people of India, but this book is inspiring me to want to learn more and perhaps discover new insights for my life’s journey to higher states of enlightenment and a deeper connection to my spiritual self.
I can see some of the points of perspective that Joseph H. Pilates may have taken from his studies of Yoga and Eastern Philosophies that have been incorporated into the Pilates Method, system, and exercises. And although the spiritual aspect of Pilates is not discussed much, I do know for me, as my mind-body awareness and physical health has improved with the practice of Pilates, there has been a positive shift and uplift of my spirit too!
I am looking forward to finishing this book, AND then starting again from the beginning for a second read. Perhaps the Autobiography of a Yogi will even inspire me to delve into a bit more Yoga and perhaps add some Yoga training to my lifestyle for added growth of my spiritual and physical health and wellness… It will be interesting to see what evolves!
Many thanks to my friend Deborah for the recommendation, and I too highly recommend this book!