IMG_0017Pilates for relaxation

This weekend I hosted my THIRD Pilates Retreat Day. This is a whole day dedicated to you. To relaxation. To pilates and exercise. To socialising. To tea breaks. I first came up with the idea when I was getting super stressed out and just wished I could head off for a day or so completely to myself to free the stress and do the things I love- pilates, exercise, swim, read books, and drink tea. I figured I wasn’t alone in this thinking and thus the creation of Freshly Centered Retreat Days!

To keep the theme of the day continuing at home, or just to get some time to relax to yourself, I’ve created this workout for you. Pilates for Relaxation is 20 minutes of strengthening whilst lengthening, with stretches to relax the body. Play the VIDEO here. Don’t be put off either- you still work hard!

I talk a lot about when to breathe in this video, and my other videos, but this is important for more reasons than you think.

Research shows that focusing on breathing control can be one of the most effective ways to reduce stress. Breathing is directly related to your heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, and state of mood. If we learn to calm our breathing then you slow down these functions, stimulating the parasympathetic system (the calm, restoring system). This allows relaxation, calmness and emotional clarity. Exercising whilst controlling your breathing clears the mind, giving you a different focus, as well as enhancing the parasympathetic system. Regular practise of this leads to an overall peaceful mind and body.

Try the Pilates for Relaxation video , and try to carry these thoughts over to everyday life!