Starting in January, CORE's teaching team has been picking an intention or theme for our sessions each month. For April, our theme has been one of the key Pilates principles: concentration.
In classical Pilates, we concentrate on the details of the work - the breath, the specific positioning of the body, the transitions - to ensure that clients get maximum physical benefit from the work. We also use the mindful concentration that is a key part of Pilates to provide the break from the noise of the outside world and our day-to-day lives so we feel both physically and mentally refreshed at the end of the session.
How many times have you come into the studio so worried about the distractions of your day-to-day life? When the busy-ness of the day-to-day prevents us from concentrating on the details of the work, we miss a chance to maximize the active, moving meditation that is the hallmark of our work.
How can you apply this idea in your sessions? First, consider leaving your cell phone in your bag at the reception so you aren't wondering what that little buzz or ding is about. Second, pick a detail at the beginning of your session about your movement to focus on. Not sure where to focus? Ask your teacher to help you with a theme for your session so you can concentrate on one thing instead of getting it all right.
As Joseph Pilates said, “A few well-designed movements, properly performed in a balance sequence, are worth hours of doing sloppy calisthenics or forced contortion.”