Mindful Pilates: A Health Convergence

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Mindful Pilates approaches the Pilates exercises with an understanding that the body is a confluence of four qualities of health: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Collette Stewart developed the practice during her years of personal practice and experience working one-on-one with students. It is influenced by four philosophies/techniques: Pilates, Imagery-Based Alignment, Energy Work, and Meditation.

Observing Points of Intersection

Imagine someone wishes to improve their physical health but is mentally undisciplined. They may exercise for a few days or even a few weeks, but if they don’t continue a routine of consistent practice, they won’t maintain physical improvement. Thus, an ineffective attitude of the mind affects a person’s physical health.

An example of a deeper overlap would be someone who exercises as a means of avoiding depression. This may prove effective for awhile because the body releases adrenaline and endorphins when we exercise which keep us energized, happy and numb to pain. However, when we don’t feel pain, we generally push beyond our body’s physical limits and end up with an injury. Someone in this situation might come to Pilates hoping to get their physical body back in shape and free from injury. However, if the practitioner doesn’t find a way to explore the root of the depression that started this cycle, the injury will be very resistant to healing and if it does, will only return.

Mindful Pilates is a integrative practice concerned with all four aspects of health. It is built on the understanding that achieving health requires us to explore each quality individually and the integration of all four.

I have practiced Pilates with Collette [Stewart] both in private and group sessions. I am struck by her ability to see quickly and succinctly how the body functions, its integrated patterns and particular challenges. She dovetails this skill with articulate language that consistently moves me toward efficiency, resilient strength and full body health.