Now I want to talk a bit about a second principle in Pilates, Centering.
Centering can mean a multiple of things in Pilates and in life. There is centering the body on the mat or equipment. You can also center your mind into your body, which I talk about below. The center in our bodies would be considered from the lowest rib to the hips, it also includes the lower and upper back muscles… Also we pull all our strength from the center in Pilates.
Before performing an exercise, I do my best to do a body scan, breathe, center myself on the mat and within my body. If there is tension in my body, then I try to reset some more, rid as much as I can of that tension.. by taking deep breaths..
Focus, is centered from the mind and into the body through deep breathing. Shallow breathing indicates that you are in your headspace... Get out of your head! What we aim to find in pilates is that balance of the mind and body. By taking that deep breath you feel more centered, or grounded. Calm. Try it. Stop what you are doing and take a deep breath...That is the state you want to be in so you can pull from the center. Movement in Pilates exercises should not carry tension. Each movement, with concentration, should be carefully executed so as not to create tension. You want your body and all its systems to work in a uniform way. And one way this can be done is by doing Pilates, incorporating all 6 principles, consistently. 10 minutes a day is enough, really.
And I can tie this to life by saying that Centering yourself before a movement in Pilates is like thinking before responding in a conversation. Also, in Pilates, you can choose to focus and center yourself before an exercise, instead of being fidgety, to get better results. Which I feel is similar to choosing to focus inward (Centering yourself) and responding to things, instead of just aimlessly reacting, so as to better direct your life. How powerful, right?
Stay centered and enjoy the Journey!