Mind, Body… Spirit?
Pilates Style|September - October 2019
Pilates is rooted in the mind/ body connection, but the spirit part often doesn’t get as much attention. While some argue that spirituality is irrelevant to the work, others believe it’s a key factor in maintaining a balanced body. Here, Pilates teachers share the spiritual practices that best support their Pilates regimen.
Amanda Altman

ONCE A SKEPTIC

WHO: Gráinne O'Driscoll, a Pilates teacher in Dublin, Ireland

WHAT SHE DOES: Meditation, gratitude journaling, affirmations, yoga

HOW IT FOSTERS PERSONAL GROWTH: Meditation brings calm, and I find myself less reactive. Gratitude journaling helps me appreciate the simpler things in life, making me realize that these are the important things. Affirmations are things I would have been quite skeptical about in the past, but I find if you say something often enough you’ll believe it. Of course, they have also made me realize the negative things you tell yourself that can become entrenched; now I try to nip these in the bud!

WHY IT NURTURES HER PILATES PRACTICE: In Pilates, I’m more disciplined and more mindful about the movements and the breath. I’m also less likely to compare myself to others and less likely to self-criticize. Pilates has also given me body awareness, as well as strength and stability in the joints, which has helped greatly with those all-important balance poses in yoga.

REPEAT AFTER ME

WHO: Jenna Zaffino, a Pilates teacher in Chicago

WHAT SHE DOES: Mantra-based affirmations

HOW IT FOSTERS PERSONAL GROWTH: I try to include a mantra-based meditation each day, even if it’s just repeating my affirmation for a minute or two between clients. Working with human beings can be unpredictable, and it’s up to me to keep my mind-set moving in the right direction. Mantras help me shift away from thoughts and feelings that don’t serve me, allowing me to course-correct when things go awry.

WHY IT NURTURES HER PILATES PRACTICE: My belief is that everyone has the opportunity to create a relationship with a spirit of their own understanding. The use of mantra and affirmation helps me feel connected to a greater purpose—and not get caught up in the small stuff.

MAKING EVERYTHING A MEDITATION

WHO: Lissa Michalak, a Pilates teacher in New York City

WHAT SHE DOES: Meditation, Chan Buddhism/ Shaolin Kung Fu

HOW IT FOSTERS PERSONAL GROWTH: The goal of my practice is to make everything a meditation; I try to bring awareness into everything in my life, which makes me want to set a better example for my clients and students, to inspire them to take the practice outside the studio.

WHY IT NURTURES HER PILATES PRACTICE: I feel that understanding your body better helps youtreat your body better. And when you are clear in your own body and movement, you can transmit that clarity to your students, just by being in that clarity yourself!

CONNECTING TO A HIGHER POWER

WHO: Katharine Jemmett, owner of The Studio @ksjbodycontrol in Reigate, Surrey, UK

WHAT SHE DOES: Practices Christianity

HOW IT FOSTERS PERSONAL GROWTH: My faith is my foundation of being, underpinning who I am and how I live. If I’m true and accountable to myself and consequently to my faith, I can be at peace with myself. If I am at peace with myself, I can love myself. If I can love myself, this love can spill forth as love for others.

WHY IT NURTURES HER PILATES PRACTICE: Being true and accountable to myself enables me to live in the now, with an openness to honestly deal with and manage life—and my practice—in all its fullness.

WRITING IT OUT

WHO: Kelly Roberts, owner of Beach Pilates and Wellness Studio in Bethany Beach, DE

WHAT SHE DOES: Journaling, mindfulness rituals

HOW IT FOSTERS PERSONAL GROWTH: I journal every day, writing down five things I’m grateful for. I also write down 10 goals/dreams/ambitions. My evening routine consists of self-care, prayer, gratitude and goal setting/inspiration. It allows me to find time for myself after busy days, to manifest the things I want for my life.

WHY IT NURTURES HER PILATES PRACTICE: They allow me to continue to build on my Pilates practice, and to have intention and set wellness goals. As a business owner and mom, I tend to put everyone else first. The journaling and other rituals allow me the headspace to really focus on myself and my needs, which I tend to put off.

GOING WITHIN

WHO: Emma Jory, owner of ePilates Online; currently living in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

WHAT SHE DOES: Ashtanga Mysore and Hatha yoga, follower of Thich Nhat Hanh [a Vietnamese Buddhist monk], Transcendental Meditation (TM)

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM PILATES STYLEView All

Pilates Postcard

A Pilates teacher shares how the method is making waves abroad.

2 mins read
Pilates Style
September - October 2020

The Ultimate Gift

One year ago, Kahley Schiller’s life was completely upended by an extreme health crisis. But thanks to her 20-year Pilates practice, the 40-year-old was able to recover quickly.

9 mins read
Pilates Style
September - October 2020

Revelations

For Sarita Allen, a star of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and a protégée of Kathleen Stanford Grant, Pilates was key to her decades-long career.

10+ mins read
Pilates Style
September - October 2020

Meaning WITHIN THE Movement

The Five Elements of Chinese Medicine help you go deeper into your practice, promising plenty of play along the way.

10+ mins read
Pilates Style
September - October 2020

PILATES IN THE HOOD

Though she’s trained many top stars, Kim Carruthers says she’s most proud of her work as the founder and director of a nonprofit bringing the method to underserved communities.

3 mins read
Pilates Style
September - October 2020

JOIN THE RESISTANCE

Studios may be shuttered, but bands can give you the benefits of machines at home—for less than $10.

8 mins read
Pilates Style
September - October 2020

Comfort Food Made Healthy

This fall, cozy up to tantalizing comfort food that’s also healthy. A new cookbook from Kristin Cavallari shows you how.

9 mins read
Pilates Style
September - October 2020

For Self-defense

Moves of the Month

8 mins read
Pilates Style
September - October 2020

Racism in the Pilates Industry

Incidents of police brutality and the ensuing Black Lives Matter protests have shed a bright light on systemic racism in the U.S., including in the Pilates industry. Here, Black instructors share their experiences.

10 mins read
Pilates Style
September - October 2020

Carola Trier's Extraordinary Journey

In his authoritative biography of the first woman to open a studio, Reiner Grootenhuis delved into her personal papers to tell the harrowing story of her time in a prison camp during World War II.

10+ mins read
Pilates Style
September - October 2020
RELATED STORIES

THE PILATES CLASS

Whether you want to feel healthier, stronger, happier, or sexier, The Pilates Class Method is for you!

4 mins read
RETREAT Magazine
Issue 19

THE PILATES CLASS

Whether you want to feel healthier, stronger, happier, or sexier, The Pilates Class Method is for you!

4 mins read
RETREAT Magazine
Issue 19

Pilates: Martes 8 A.M.

Es posible que desees gritar tus objetivos fitness desde la azotea, si es el consejo de un experto sobre motivación que deba pasar…

5 mins read
Women's Health en Español
Julio 2019

13 Things - Surprising Innovations from World War I

The idea of fiddling with the clock has been around since antiquity, but it was not until World War I that governments around the globe officially adopted daylight saving time.

3 mins read
Reader's Digest US
November 2018

The Secret Life Of Hidden Muscles

Often Neglected, the deep muscles around your spine may need some TLC.

2 mins read
Good Health Magazine Australia
August 2018

Master Your Fitness Maths

Fanatical about one form of exercise? Adding another workout into the mix could round out your workout regime and improve your performance. Try one of these perfect pairings

4 mins read
Fit & Well
May 2017

Do More For Your Core

Unsure if Pilates is the right type of exercise for you? We asked instructors from some of our favourite Pilates studios in Singapore to share why they love the core-strengthening, low-impact workout, and their top reasons to give it a try.

5 mins read
EL Singapore
March 2021

फिटनेस चाहिए तो पिलाटेस कीजिए

व्यायाम आसान भी हों और असरदार भी तो कहना ही क्या। पिलाटेस एक्सरसाइज शरीर को शेप में भी रखती हैं और उसे मजबूत भी बनाती हैं।

1 min read
Anokhi
January 16, 2021

MONICA RASTOGI

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH CERTIFIED PILATES INSTRUCTOR FROM DELHI

5 mins read
SportzBusiness
November 2020

Namrata Purohit Shares 3 Do's & Don'ts When Learning Pilates

Namrata Purohit is a Pilates instructor who co-founded The Pilates Studio with her father Samir Purohit.

1 min read
Women Fitness India
August/September 2020