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MINDFULNESS & PILATES

respirit9
Are you there?
The other day, after dropping my kids at school, I was driving through the town to the Studio. I took the usual route… at least I guess… I did all the things you are supposed to do (giving priority, stopping at the red light)… at least I hope so – as, in fact, at one of the crossings, I have suddenly realized that I had no memories whatsoever about my journey so far. This is a great and, at the same time, frightening example, of how we might often ‘not be there’ in the moment in our life.
‘Being there’, as opposed to this, is called ‘mindfulness’. This happens to me when I try to explain something to my kids or when I give a class and all my senses are sharpened to focus on my own moves, explain the exercises properly for you, and see how you are doing, whether anyone needs assistance. This is what we feel when we are reading a page-turner and when we are, in general, immersed in tasks that rather feel like a reward than a tiresome challenge. In short: when we do what we like.
However, it is not always so easy to find this state of mind that is often referred to as ‘the flow’. We might be pressed or constantly distracted by the people surrounding us, or stressed by an environment full of noise. We might have been so busy for a longer time already that we forgot about how to have some time and space for ourselves when we can fully focus on one thing – the thing that we want.
Pilates and Mindfulness…
Now, how does Pilates come into the picture?

For me, Pilates is one of the great ways to find my path back to the ability of being mindful.

Why am I saying this? Not only because Pilates is the passion of my life, however, this is certainly a key element in making me able to feel ‘the flow’. This might not be the case for you, however, and I am still pretty certain that it works as a path for you, too. To see why, we have to look into what we are exactly doing when doing Pilates.
First of all, when you decide to come to a class, you dedicate time to yourself. Time that is exclusively yours, and when your only task is to pay attention to your body and your mind. When you silence your phone and when there are no kids, colleagues or anyone else around, except for the people whose goals are exactly the same as yours.
Then, by carrying out the exercises, you are actually practicing the state of mindfulness and the skill of being mindful.

“The Pilates Method of Body Conditioning is the complete co-ordination of body, mind and spirit”. – Joseph Pilates

We have to learn to breathe in a specific way, and harmonize breathing with the exercises. We have to listen to our instructor, and, at the same time, try to imitate the movements, making clear distinction between which muscles to tense and which ones to relax. Such coordination requires an absolute focus of the mind, and a kind of attention that covers a wide range of things starting from our instructor’s words through our own movements to how we actually feel, all of them being connected to a single goal: performing Pilates exercises.
We ‘are there’. We ‘tune in’ on the moment. We act consciously. And we ‘feel’.
This is exactly what mindfulness is about. That’s why Pilates is exercising not only your body, but your mind and your ability of being mindful as well.
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Dear All,

I hope you are all doing safe and sound, living through this experience with curiosity and enjoying all the good things it is bringing to us all.  

I would like to thank you for all your lovely messages and checking-in: they helped me feel valuable and connected,  and know I am not alone in these challenging times. I have been through a strong emotional rollercoaster the past last weeks; from meeting my fears and demons and embracing my sorrow, to laughing an immense lot and finding moments of deep inner peace. We are all in this together. 

But the time has finally come that I am making this decision happily from my heart; as of next week Respirit Pilates is going online and we will guide your Pilates practice on the mat, streaming live. 
I am grateful for my teachers that they can spare some time within their up-side-down daily schedule with family around, and also for Lena who will also be back to reinforce us in this experiment. 
 
Here you are the practicalities:

  • For the moment we will offer open level classes. We will guide you to the average level of those present in the class and give you some modifications as much as it is possible under the circumstances. 
  • You will need a calm corner with fresh air and a mat for yourself. Please prepare some accessories; a chair with back rest, a towel and anything serving as weights in your hand (bottle of water, pack of rice, etc. 0.5-1kg), so that we can enjoy some fun variations every now and then.
  • You can stream the classes on any device through the free Zoom application; download it and check the audio function beforehand. 
  • As of tomorrow you can register into the classes via Mindbody at latest 60 minutes before the class and we will send you a link to the live stream 15 minutes before the start. 
    We will need minimum 4 people into each class; below that number we retain the right to cancel.
  • Please make sure your email address is updated within your profile in Mindbody and that you allow the system to send you auto-emails. If you do not get the link, please check your junk folder, too. 
  • You can either use your existing mat cards or purchase any of our new online pricing options: 10 sessions for 100€ or a drop-in for 15€.

This will be a new experience for many of us; learning new technologies, new ways of teaching and secrets of our bodies, as well as letting others closer to us as we peak into each other`s private life a bit.  Let`s face it together with grace and compassion. I cannot wait to seeing your happy faces again. 
 
I truly appreciate all your continuing support through this challenging time. Let`s have faith that we will get out stronger on the other side, both individually and as a our loved Respirit community together. 

I wish you good health; feel safe and stay strong.
Piri