Stress: How Pilates Reformer Classes Can Help

Feeling stressed? Thinking about attending Pilates reformer classes, but unsure if they will help?

Too many of us live stressful lives. It is hard to get time to focus on oneself, to switch off from the constant availability that the Internet demands, and to just ‘be’. Attending regular Pilates reformer classes could help you to manage your stress levels. Here’s why:

Pilates brings relief from stress and a sense of calmness. It is a gentle, non-aerobic form of exercise that doesn’t rely on sweat, grunt and pain. It produces not just a toned, flexible body but also a calm, relaxed mind.

Secluding yourself in a quiet studio, focusing on breathing exercises and repeating gentle but effective movements can bring peace to the busiest of days. The very practice of Pilates encourages a natural state of mindfulness. The breathing exercises used in Pilates improve blood circulation and encourage relaxation. Concentrating on your body and on specific exercises helps keep distracting and stressful thoughts away.

It is scientifically proven that the very act of exercising alters body chemistry. Exercise decreases ‘stress hormones’ such as cortisol while also increasing endorphins, the body’s ‘feel-good’ chemical. This is why attending Pilates reformer classes at Pilates Central can be a valuable tool in managing your stress levels.

Pilates is also, of course, excellent for strengthening the core muscles and relieving back pain by treating the underlying causes. Back pain is itself often a symptom of a stressed lifestyle, leading to poor posture. Pilates straightens the spine and improves posture. This will help you breathe better, digest your food more efficiently and even feel taller.

Celebrities find Pilates helpful too!

People from all walks of life can de-stress through Pilates. Joan Bakewell, the writer and broadcaster, says that Pilates gives her “a tremendous sense of well-being”. Pop star Will Young says: “I love Pilates. It helps you get in touch with yourself and your body. It’s also helped me to chill out a lot. I didn’t get nervous before the album release, because nowadays I think: ‘What’s the point?’ ”

The singer Natasha Hamilton, meanwhile, launched a campaign advocating that stressed-out mothers relax by doing Pilates’ breathing exercises.

Take time out for yourself…

A good Pilates class also brings a welcome change of scenery and a serene atmosphere, along with the support of expert teachers and like-minded users. All of these factors help clients chill out.

Taking time out from a busy day to concentrate on your breathing and to stretch muscles is a great antidote for a stressed lifestyle. At its best, Pilates can fuse body, mind, and spirit and greatly reduce a sense of rush, pressure and stress.