How Pilates Can Help With Depression

One of the most beneficial forms of exercise to stave off depression and anxiety is Pilates. Here are some key points from an interesting article on the subject, which explains how…

‘While other forms of exercise can help clear the mind, Pilates helps to ease the mind. Moira Merrithew, co-founder of Stott Pilates, says, “Pilates exercises perform moves that can almost massage the muscles. While you’re gaining muscular strength, you’ll also be relieving yourself of muscular tension, helping you become a more relaxed person. While performing Pilates, you’re also relaxing your mind.”

Suzanne Farrell

‘Many people enter into depression because they feel like they are losing control of their lives. With Pilates, you are required to mentally and physically control every aspect of the workout, giving you good mental practice to help you better control your life. Pilates requires a lot of focus. Suzanne Farrell, a ballerina from the 20th century, loved using Pilates. She once said about it, “nothing about the Pilates Method is haphazard. The reason you need to concentrate so thoroughly is so you can be in control of every aspect of every moment.”

‘Speaking more about how Pilates can help those affected by depression, Alycea Ungaro, owner of Real Pilates in New York City and author of a book on Pilates, said, “Pilates can be a mental and emotional respite for those suffering from depression, anxiety or everyday stress. Pilates forces you to focus inward for the duration of the workout by concentrating on the detail, form and execution of each exercise. Pilates can rejuvenate the mind and restore the spirit. I sometimes think the benefits are almost in line with those of meditation…we work with individuals who have had bouts of depression and anxiety. These clients walk in with a look of tension, sometimes even despair. They respond in an enormously positive way. Anxiety and depression can be overwhelming. But when you see your own body performing healthy, active and elegant moves, it restores your faith and belief in what you can achieve. A healthy self-image is incredibly positive and enormously empowering.’

Don Draper reading Frank O'Hara's Meditations in an Emergency

‘Pilates serves as a physical exercise, but also a mental nap. The ability to control your body, become more flexible and get in better shape puts you at the helm of something that you didn’t have control over before: your mind and body.’

To read the article in full, click here.

If you’d like to try Pilates to help ease any anxious or depressive thoughts you might currently be experiencing, why not come along to one of the six classes Embody Pilates’ runs at The Wellbeing Studio in Clevedon each week. Alternatively, perhaps a private Pilates session, either at the studio or in your own home might suit you better.

Don Draper meditating

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