Pilates Teaches Self Compassion and Healthy Balance

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Healthy BalanceFirst of all: yes, there is a healthy balance and yes, you can use self-compassion even in your most difficult moments. While different seasons bring new challenges, there is always a way to center yourself, focus and reconnect with self-compassion, if only for a few moments every day.

Our approach to Pilates at Lindywell reminds us of this. Simply showing up on our mat allows us to move our body in a way that invites balance and self-compassion. The same applies to life, but the first step is to allow ourselves to present ourselves at any time of the year.

Let’s take the mindset that we incorporate into our Pilates workouts from the mat and into life to create a healthy balance and use your self-compassion.

1. Creating healthy healing spaces

One of the most beautiful things about getting on your mat is that the time you spend on it allows a connection with yourself, your mind and your body. It also offers the opportunity to leave judgment at the door and let your body (not your mind) do the talking. After all, lying on the mat is a Chance to move your body in a way that strengthens, stretches, nourishes and connects it.

You can create spaces that invite the same experiences of the carpet and, in turn, help you create a space that promotes a healthy balance in your home. This does not mean that you have to remake your living room as a peaceful and yogic Ashram or get rid of everything technical.

Instead, use the following ideas to create spaces in your home where you can more consistently access balance, connection and self-love:

  • Repaint your room. Transform your bedroom into a space conducive to calm and relaxation by painting your walls with colors that favor lightness and help you feel at ease. Benjamin Moore recommends the palest pistachios, Simply white, porcelain, Yarmouth blue, natural cream, black pepper or silver fox. Check out some low-VOC paint products to promote an even healthier space.
  • Leave your mobile phone charger in the kitchen. Do not take your mobile phone into the bedroom at night. If you can, leave it loaded in the kitchen so you won’t be tempted to pick it up first thing in the morning, which activates your stress hormones. Instead, use the first few moments of the morning to focus on what you are grateful for or take a few deep, centered breaths.
  • Leave the mirrors. Although mirrors can help make a room look bigger, they are also tempted to objectify themselves every time you pass one. Consider removing unnecessary mirrors throughout your home so that you can focus on being in your body and loving it rather than making sure it looks “good enough”.”

2. simplify more to stress less

Creating a healthy balance while navigating life’s ups and downs is all about simplification. Pilates is a simple exercise practice. Although we can use balls, a reformer, a trapezoidal table and much more, we don’t need it. In fact, many of our workouts on the Lindywell app do not require any equipment, which makes them more accessible and easier to engage in.

This idea of simplification is the key to creating a balance during stressful seasons. To simplify, focus, Modify and create compassion at any time in any area of your life by asking yourself these three questions:

Focus: what absolutely needs to be done now/today/This week?

Change: What can I do to make my life easier/more enjoyable while doing this?

Having compassion: what can I let go of and come back to it after?

For example, if you have a hectic week due to an important upcoming deadline (Focus), you can use one-sheet meals or slow cookers (modify) so that you can continue to take care of your mind and body, but saving the big grocery store for the next week (have compassion).

Use this simple framework to find balance and self-compassion, no matter what’s going on in your life. Listen to our Podcast episode on the 3 D’s (Do, Delegate, Delete) for even more ideas on how to simplify more and have less Stress.

3. familiarize yourself with exactly what your body needs

Here’s the thing about creating a healthy balance: it’s different for everyone. What seems good and balanced to you may not be good for someone else. The same applies to Pilates, which is why we always offer modifications and options for the most diverse needs, abilities and fitness levels.

You can adopt this practice in your own life by becoming an expert in your body’s needs and then giving it the modification or Option it needs to feel nourished and cared for.

However, in our modern world, it’s easy to disconnect (and stay that way) from our body while we rush through life, focus on the next thing, then sleep and start over. To familiarize yourself with your body’s needs and use it to create more balance and self-compassion, integrate these practices into your Routine:

  • Breathing: Your breathing is an immediate gateway to the connection with the body, as it leads you out of your head to the body sensation of breathing. We have a variety of breathing exercises in the Lindywell app. Use this Resource to familiarize yourself with intentional breathing, find practices that fit your schedule and desires, and connect more deeply with yourself and your body.
  • Conscious movement: I like how Mindful.org explains conscious movement: “Conscious movement allows us to get in touch with our body and move in a way that can help us reduce Stress, release stagnant energy and strengthen our mind-body connection.”With this in mind, don’t just go for a walk or take a Pilates class—pay attention when your foot hits the pavement or your weight moves between your hands on the mat. The goal is to feel the sensations of your body, to connect, listen and familiarize yourself with the way it communicates with you. Your body has its own unique language, you just need to learn it.

3-Minute Centering: Take three minutes to just be with you and center at least once a day. Meanwhile: do you feel in your muscles; do you feel tension or pain? Pay attention to your breathing; is it shallow and fast or slow and deep? Tune in to your feelings; are you feeling sad or overwhelmed? Happy or fulfilled?

Introduce these practices into your daily life and remember that developing this connection with your body takes time. But if you log in and improve your skills, you can know exactly what you need, when you need it. This allows you to create more balance in each moment and practice more self-compassion.

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