- As featured in Body and Soul -
It only takes one Pilates class for a newbie to realise it takes a heck of a lot of concentration to successfully nail the bridge, table top, plank or pike. A ‘Mind Body Connection’ is much more then a spiritual phrase when it comes to Pilates. One must be fully in tune with their body, where it is in space, how they are moving, where their head, shoulders, ribs and hips are placed in order to effectively recruit their ‘core’ or deep abdominals and pelvic floor. To achieve all of this you must be fully present in your class. Every day people turn up to class banging on about work related stresses, unwell children, irritating partners. These same folk walk out the door 60mins later singing the praises of Pilates for requiring so much focus they have therefore been successfully distracted from their to-do list or woes of their busy schedule and are now feeling invigorated and empowered to face these head on. Personally, being someone who has never been able to achieve the ‘mindful’ state so many yogi’s seem to thrive on in their savasana, Pilates provides a great alternate stress reliever.
More often then not the cause of your headache is what Physio’s refer to as ‘cervicogenic’, in simple terms, stemming from the neck. The Desk jockeys neck; chin poking forward, shoulders up around the ears, slumped upper back, all signs of dodgy postural habits leading to increased muscle tension around the neck and shoulders resulting in neck stiffness and jamming of the upper cervical vertebra (the boney bits at the top of the spine) which commonly refer pain to the head. Pilates addresses such postural dysfunction and helps to lengthen these overworked muscles and strengthen those lazy underworked muscles lying beneath. The end result? Less tension in the neck and shoulders, decompression of the cervical spine (neck) and all in all less headaches! Next time you reach for the Panadol or plump up your pillow for the third time at night save yourself the headache and think about booking yourself in for Pilates.
Increased sexual pleasure
Strengthen the pelvic floor, enhance the orgasm! With Pilates’ focus on a deep abdominal contraction there is an increase in blood flow to the pelvic cavity. Increased blood flow and oxygen to an area = increased sensation and more intense orgasms. Pilates trains you to support your body weight while performing challenging tasks, along with the flexibility gained through such exercises one might find themselves being able to achieve some interesting, adventurous and effective sexual positions…all sounds pretty helpful to me ;) It’s also worth mentioning the core strength and stamina built through Pilates, both with the benefit of helping you go for longer!