Therapy For Individuals Who Feel Too Stiff For Pilates

I would never admit this to anyone, but I had always been insecure about my body. I felt like I was too big to do any physical activity gracefully, so I just made it seem like I was not interested in exercising at all. Still, if you rummaged through my bedroom, you would see yoga mats and small dumbbells as I tried to work out on my own – away from other people who might laugh upon seeing me try.

Nobody assumed I was doing it because the bodyweight exercises that I tried did not do much for me. I would work out two or three times a week and feel like I did okay, but then I would step on the scale and realize that my entire month of exercising did not improve my weight significantly.

Learning About Pilates

I want to let you know that I was very much a daddy’s girl. I always told myself that I would go to the closest university to stay at home and see my dad as often as possible. However, due to my desire for physical change – which I was too shy to reveal and pursue in my hometown – I made the executive decision to study on the West Coast. By doing so, I hoped that it would only take me an entire semester to reduce my weight and return To the East Coast as a better version of myself.

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True enough, I soon realized that Los Angeles was like the mecca for any physical activity that you could ever imagine. I could walk around Venice Beach and see all these fun metal structures that could double as training equipment. If I went further enough to Santa Monica beach, I would see people running or cycling. Some of them did it to train for marathons or triathlons, while others lost weight. Upon going through the city, I noticed that many gyms and studios offered many exercises that I had not even heard of before.

I was still in the process of figuring out what type of workout I should try first when I came across a Pilates studio. I initially thought it was a yoga thing, but when I peered through the glass, I saw some big machines inside that I knew yoga practitioners did not use.

Someone inside the studio must have seen me press my face against the glass because the door opened, and a smiling Instructor asked me to come inside the studio and observe her class. Although I was embarrassed, I was also intrigued by Pilates, so I agreed to do it.

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It did not take me long to assume that Pilates was not as physically demanding as yoga or any other workout. I mean, the students used a type of machine that had a lot of functions. In my mind, it was doing all the demanding aspects of the exercise for them. After two hours of feeling in awe of everything, I decided to sign up for two months’ worth of classes.

Getting My Butt Kicked In Pilates

Did you read the part where I said that Pilates was much easier than yoga? Well, you could forget about it because I was wrong.

When I sat in for my instructor’s class, I got there when they began doing the actual exercises. I did not see that they would warm-up for at least 15 minutes before that, stretching every muscle in the body. I only learned about it on my first day of class, which made me want to back out instantly.

Why might you ask?

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To put it simply, I had always had a stiff body. I could not remember a time when I could reach my toes by bending half of my body forward. Trunk lifts, jumping jacks, or even lunges were my enemies because I had never been able to raise my chest or stretch my legs without hurting.

During the class, I knew that I was behind everybody else. Some women were bigger than me, but they managed to do the stretches well. While I stuck through the entire session to avoid being branded as a scaredy-cat, I told my instructor afterward that I would no longer continue with the program since I was too stiff for Pilates.

Changing My Mindset

Little did I know, teaching Pilates was only one of my instructor’s hobbies. Her day job was providing therapy to people who dealt with too much stress or lacked self-confidence. It might have been too obvious that I needed therapy, so my instructor did not waste time and invited me to her office to talk about my worries.

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I told my instructor about my physical insecurities – even the fact that I chose to study far away from home because I was ashamed of others seeing me try to look and feel better. I still felt embarrassed the entire time, but I figured there was no better person to confide in than a mental health professional.

I would not forget what my instructor said. “Anyone can learn flexibility. It does not happen overnight, yes, but you don’t have to feel bad about it. Instead, it should push you to work hard every day to achieve your weight-loss goals.”

Needless to say, my stiffness went away after months of trying my best. Three years later, I became a Pilates studio owner in my hometown and remained great friends with my therapist.

How Pilates Became My Therapy After Divorce

It had not been five years since I divorced my husband. James was my high school sweetheart, and we had three beautiful daughters. I genuinely thought that we would be together until old age. However, he increasingly became toxic to me, so I had to end our relationship.

In The Beginning

When James and I met in high school, I was technically the campus sweetheart. If there were ever a beauty pageant, my teachers would send me to it. If the football or basketball team needed a muse during parades, that would be my role. I was young, sexy, vibrant, and intelligent, and almost every guy in town wanted me.

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The thing was, my eyes were set on James, the captain of the football team. Unlike the other rowdy teenagers his age, James was more of the silent type. He would attend parties and everything, but he would remain in the corner and not talk to people much. Whenever we crossed paths, though, he would perk up and only pay attention to me. Once James asked me out, you could bet that I did not make him wait for too long before I said yes.

We instantly became the most famous couple on the campus, and it felt like everyone wanted to be us. Still, James and I had the surprise of our lives when I found out right after high school graduation that I was pregnant with our first child.

Becoming A Young Wife And Mother

I remember crying buckets when I learned about my pregnancy because I was not ready to be a mother. I was only 18 years old, and there were so many things that I wanted to do. But James appeased me when he offered to marry me. He was like, “I know you’re sad that you will have to delay going to college for at least a couple of years, but we can get an apartment near the University where I will go so that we can be together all the time. We can make this work.”

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True to James’s words, we did make everything work for us. I saw how much he matured since he learned about my pregnancy. Aside from getting his degree, he also had part-time jobs and never complained once. When our first daughter arrived, I got to help out with the finances a little by accepting some dress orders.

At that point, being a high school royalty felt like something of the past. All I cared about was our little family. Unfortunately, three babies later, I might have forgotten about my old life too much as I let myself go physically.

I was only 23 years old, but my 50-year-old mother dressed better than me. I could no longer recall the last time I wore more than lipstick because I was always busy making ends meet and taking care of my children. Worse, I put on at least 100 pounds and did not seem to want to lose any of it at all.

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That must have been a deal-breaker for James. He began to comment on my body, comparing me to a whale or a couch. I laughed and let it pass, but he repeated it almost every day since then. It got to the point where he told me that we could not sleep on the same bed because it was just enough for my body.

Well, it was the last straw for me. Without another word, I pulled out my suitcase and filled it with as many clothes as I could fit and carried all my children to the car. It was the middle of the night, but I did not care about that. I drove straight to my parents’ house and decided to divorce James right then. I refused to be verbally abused by him again.

Finding Peace In Pilates

When I filed for divorce, I clarified to my lawyer that I did not want anything from James except for child support. I was lucky to have parents who agreed to help me go to a local college and look after my daughter for a few hours a day. Hence, I did not need his money.

At the start of the semester, though, I felt insecure about my appearance. I was not much older than my classmates, but our age gap seemed too big because of how I dressed and what my body had become. But things changed when one of my new friends, Anna, introduced me to Pilates.

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Pilates allowed me to reconnect with my true self. Little by little, it strengthened my desire to get back in shape and become a better version of myself. It also relieved the stress of dealing with the fact that I was a young divorcee and wondering what the future held for my daughters and me. But I felt more validated than ever when I had to take my kids to a Pilates class once, and after an hour, they were all like, “Mama, I want to be strong like you.”

Fast Forward To 2021

After community college, I applied for a license to become a Pilates instructor. I eventually opened my studio, catering to moms who lost their self-confidence. Now, I can say that Pilates became my therapy, and I have finally found my peace of mind.

Yoga Misconceptions: Counseling You Need To Stop Believing

Understanding the misconceptions about yoga.

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Yoga is not just a form of exercise or breathing activity. Yoga is art, science, and philosophy all at once. Research-based evidence shows the benefits of yoga. Some of these benefits include pain reduction, stress management, and improved quality of life.

However, yoga lacks value recognition. To this day, there are so many common misconceptions about yoga. These false impressions hinder many people from giving yoga a shot.

Some may even avoid stepping on a yoga mat. Despite yoga becoming popular over the years, many people still steer clear of doing it. Because of this, yoga counseling is also surrounded by misleading beliefs. If you are one of the people who doubt yoga, reading this can help provide more insight. 

Misconceptions About Yoga

It surprises some people upon finding out that yoga can be used to improve mental health. Among these conditions are addiction, anxiety, chronic pain, and depression. Most people are unfamiliar with yoga counseling. They tend to believe the myths that surround it. The following are common misconceptions about yoga that you need to stop believing:

Yoga Is Boring And Not Meant For Physical Or Mental Therapy

Since yoga is a quiet practice, some people think that it’s boring. Many say that it’s just a slow exercise on breathing. People may assume that it’s just a bunch of poses and keeping balanced. Poses, balance, and breathing are just a part of the bigger picture. While these are important, they are not everything there is to yoga. Yoga offers so much more to those who practice it.

Yoga is allowing your body and mind to be in a state of calmness. It’s about being aware of yourself and finding inner peace. Yoga helps you reset your system so you can find physical and mental ease. If practiced enough, it develops your inner awareness. When practiced as therapy, it gives mental and physical resilience. The state of calmness brought by yoga helps you process thoughts and feelings better.

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A lot of people may think that yoga is not intense enough to bring in any physical benefits. However, doing yoga promotes muscle strength and endurance that will help you become more flexible. It can help with muscle correction, soothe your body’s tension, and ease anxiety. Since it focuses on breathing, it can boost your cardio-respiratory health. After all, physical health and mental health are linked. You’ll be hitting two birds with one stone through yoga counseling.

You Have To Be Flexible Before Doing Yoga

You don’t have to be a seasoned gymnast to practice yoga. Most people, especially women, get intimidated by pictures of yoga all over the internet. This is not a reason to turn your back on yoga counseling. Remember that no one is good at something on their first try. Beginner yoga will have you use tools such as blankets and straps to help you. Your therapist will also guide you on the proper use of these items. 

Yoga does not require you to be flexible before trying it out. Unless you’re a pro, your yoga counselor will not expect you to have expert skills. With constant practice, you’ll see that your body has better flexibility and endurance. Like everything in life, with consistency comes improvement. You’ll surely feel good when you realize how far you’ve come at yoga. This sense of accomplishment can help boost your mental health.

More than just the physical poses, yoga is about mindful movement. Don’t let yourself be intimidated by advanced poses: as a beginner, you’ll be starting with the basics. Being adept at complicated poses will not necessarily translate to a better state of mind. This is a journey of finding out what works best for your body. Whether you like simple or complex poses, what’s important is that they work for you. Your comfort should be your priority when it comes to yoga.

Yoga Therapy Is Meant For Physically Active Women

Another misconception is that yoga is only for physically active women. This can be one reason why some people are intimidated by yoga counseling. Contrary to this belief, yoga is for dads, moms, grandpas, and kids, too. Anyone interested should give it a shot. If you think that yoga does not compliment your therapy, think again.

There are many resources to help you get started with yoga. Modified yoga is for people of all ages, genders, and abilities. There are yoga therapy centers that treat different physical and mental conditions as well. Your counselor will be more than happy to discuss your options for yoga counseling.

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While most people who practice yoga are women, it shouldn’t stop men from trying. Don’t let the stereotypes stop you from exploring yoga therapy. It gives the same benefits to men as it does to women.

Yoga Is A Spiritual Activity Made For A Specific Religion

Yoga started in ancient India. While yoga’s roots are in Hinduism, the practice is not tied to one religion. As of today, people of different beliefs teach and practice yoga. Yoga is considered an effective practice in mental health therapies. Yoga is about establishing a union between your body and mind. Anyone can achieve this connection, regardless of religious belief. 

There are indeed spiritual aspects to doing yoga, but it’s also a myriad of physical movements. These techniques work in improving your physical and mental health. It does not require you to have any particular belief to benefit from it. Don’t let this stop you from trying to add yoga into your counseling regimen.

Wrapping Up

These misconceptions on yoga counseling are just myths that need debunking. No matter who you are or what you do, there is yoga that’s perfect for you. Yoga is a practice that relieves suffering and gives mental ease. It evolved through the years to fit different people, places, and lifestyles. Yoga counseling can help you a lot, but only if you give it a try. If you’re considering yoga counseling, start discussing it now with your counselor. 

Yoga Therapy

Let’s talk about Yoga Therapy.

Originating from India, yoga therapy has been long used as a discipline to help a person build strength. Many people from around the world practice yoga therapy to help improve their body image. Unlike high-intensity workouts like cardio and lifting weights, yoga therapy focuses on your breathing techniques while doing different poses. This makes yoga the ideal discipline for improving flexibility while practicing mindfulness.

Yoga Therapy

According to some studies, yoga therapy offers more than physical benefits. This ancient practice has proven to impact one’s mental health as well positively. People can use yoga for mental health problems, including healing from trauma-related disorders.

Some people think that yoga therapy is a complicated activity. Many hesitate to try yoga because of all the misconceptions associated with it.  But before believing any hearsay about yoga, you have first to understand its advantages and benefits in counseling.

Yoga Therapy Helps With:

Yoga Therapy Regulates Emotions, Manage Weight, And Improve Heart Health

One of the fundamentals of yoga therapy is being aware of your breathing. This can greatly contribute to regulating your emotions. When you are feeling anxious, yoga can help restore your emotions in order. Focusing your breathing techniques while having a session with your yoga therapy counselor can make the activity easier. For example, your counselor may instruct you to do a myriad of breathing exercises before proceeding with your discussion.

Yoga Therapy helps with mental health
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One of the fundamentals of yoga therapy is being conscious of your breathing. This practice alone can greatly contribute to regulating your emotions. Yoga can help sort out your anxiety. Focusing on your breathing techniques can improve your counseling sessions. Your counselor can make you do breathing exercises before you proceed with your session.

Some mental health disorders cause your weight to fluctuate. This can harm people who may suffer from low self-esteem and insecurity. Poor mental health can sometimes lead to a poor relationship with food. Yoga therapy can make you more aware of your body’s hunger cues. It helps you become more mindful of maintaining a healthy weight. All in all, yoga therapy can help you restore and maintain a balanced metabolism.

Another health benefit of yoga therapy is improving your heart health. Yoga helps you maintain a good heart rate. Apart from this, it is also beneficial to your blood flow and composition. Yoga helps maintain blood pressure, glucose levels, and cholesterol, among others. 

These show that our physical health directly affects our mental health. Being disciplined with a yoga therapy routine can help you become both physically and mentally healthier. These two vital organs —the heart and the brain— both keep you alive, so they must be well cared for.

Yoga Therapy Social Advantage

Yoga Therapy Makes You Part Of A Supportive Community

Practicing in group classes is a great way to use yoga therapy for mental health. This is an opportunity for you to be part of a community with the same goal. Being with a group can be a healing environment. When you are with like-minded people, you can become motivated to heal yourself and support others. Loneliness can also be eased since you are not on your own.

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Partaking in yoga therapy group sessions can also help you become more consistent. This is because being part of a group can be extremely encouraging for a lot of people. It can be reassuring to know that you have shoulders to lean on for your common and individual goals. If you think you can be comfortable doing group yoga therapy, you can consult your yoga therapy counselor and explore your options.

Yoga Therapy Health Benefits

Yoga Therapy Helps You Manage Stress Better and Maintain Good Sleep

We all know stress can have a devastating effect both on our mind and body. The effects of stress differ from one person to another. It can manifest physically, causing back or neck pain. Yoga therapy can also be physiological, such as loss of appetite and lack of motivation. Whichever way your stress shows, doing yoga can alleviate these symptoms. There are several scientific pieces of evidence available that show yoga therapy can support stress management.

Practicing yoga therapy can also help improve the quality and duration of your sleep. This is because it can help release your emotions before resting. People who are light sleepers or experience insomnia find that yoga helps them have a better sleep. When you do yoga therapy, you put your body in a calm state. Practicing the right yoga poses and sequences and integrating them into your routine can help you have regular sleeping patterns. 

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Yoga Therapy Can Work More Quickly Than Traditional Talk Therapy

Trauma is stored in our body’s tissues. They live in our bodies until they are released. The tension in your body can stay and not be relieved with just traditional talk therapy. Yoga therapy, which is a body-centered approach, can directly get to the root of the tension. Sometimes, simply discussing your feelings with your counselor soothes your mind. However, incorporating yoga is an approach that focuses on true healing.

When a distressing memory is triggered, your physiological state can be troubled. Just talking with your therapist does not directly target the trauma stored inside. Yoga therapy can help you return to a sound state. This can also allow you to begin processing your trauma and eventually move forward. 

Yoga Therapy Conclusion

Yoga therapy is an effective complementary therapy in the treatment of different mental health disorders. If you ever feel intimidated in trying out yoga, you can discuss with your counselor for possible options. There are many types of yoga therapy suited for your comfort level. It may take some time for you to find the right program, but keep in mind that this is a part of your journey to well-being. Using yoga therapy for mental health has become more accepted than ever, so feel free to try it out and see the difference yourself.

Frequently Asked Questions About Yoga For Depression

Perhaps you already know that yoga is beneficial not only for physical but also for the emotional and mental aspects. It may be something that not all individuals are engaged with, but you would definitely love it once you know how easy and comfortable yoga is. You do not have to be a physical fitness enthusiast to learn more about yoga because all of its aspects are straightforward to understand.

I have a list of frequently asked questions that might help you get to know some information about yoga. Some answers here also lead you to the important reasons as to why it is entirely valuable and effective.

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Which yoga is good for depression?

Almost all types of yoga are beneficial for mental health and can help with depression. But to be specific, the corpse pose, or Shavasana, is one of the most well-liked yoga poses that help relieves stress, manage anxiety, and reduce depressive symptoms. An individual can also meditate while performing relaxing yoga.

But mind you, though some of the positions might look easy, this particular yoga is unquestionably considered the most difficult one. That is because it takes a lot of concentration, stretching, and aimed pose.

 Which yoga is best for mental health? 

The most recommended Poses For Wellness And Mental Health are Balasana (Baby Pose), Uttanasana (Forward Bent Pose), Sethubandhasana (Bridge Pose), ViparitaKarani (Legs Up The Wall Pose), and Shavasana (Corpse Pose). But you must remember. Even if all of these are easy to do and offer the same mental health benefits, it is best to consult your healthcare provider or doctor for recommendations.

Note that you don’t have to stick with one type of yoga. You can search and try all of them if you want and then choose the best that fits you. There is a wide variety of yoga to choose from that can start with simple poses up to complicated ones.

 Is yoga good for anxiety and depression? 

Yes. Several pieces of evidence prove yoga to be effective in reducing exaggerated stress responses, unmanageable anxiety, and crippling depression. An extensive range of yoga practices functions as a self-soothing technique that supports relaxation, exercise, and meditation. In some particular events, yoga also improves communication with others as it helps widen social connections. Yoga also helps in overall development as it strengthens an individual’s physical, emotional, and mental well-being.

 Can pranayam cure depression? 

Pranayam is a type of yoga that focuses on breathing exercises that help lessen stress response. A 10-minute day of this yoga style promises to provide more oxygen supply to the body and mind. It also reduces your heart rate and regulates your breathing to calm the body and gain manageable sleep. Pranayama reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety as it channelizes the energy and generates precise attitudes of mind.

 Can Kapalbhati cure anxiety? 

Yes, Kapalbhati Pranayama calms your mind. It can also help with stress, anxiety, minor mood swings, and depression. The kriya gives you a sense of wellness and balance. You are thus making your brain feel de-stressed and decluttered. Since it is beneficial for calming and soothing the nervous system, many experts recommend yoga practice. But note, some several cases of anxiety might not go away by just practicing Kapalbhati Pranayama. It is a piece of great advice to consult a doctor or a health professional or get a precise diagnosis and treatment of your possible mental health symptoms.

 Does yoga really work for anxiety? 

Yes. Any type of yoga is good for anxiety because it is a mind and body practice that works with physical poses with controlled breathing exercises that allow relaxation and complete mindfulness meditation. It helps reduce stress, lower the heart rate, and regulate blood pressure. But it is essential to note that yoga alone will not fight the mental damages from life’s stressors. You also need to exert some effort in taking care of yourself and focus on overall development. Always start your day with a clear mindset and a positive outlook on life.

 Which yoga is suitable for peace of mind? 

The best yoga for peace of mind includes Easy Pose (Sukhasana), Wide-Legged Standing Forward Bend (PrasaritaPadottanasana), Thunderbolt Pose (Vajrasana), Plow Pose (Halasana), Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana), Rabbit Pose (Sasangasana), Corpse Pose (Savasana), and Side stretch.

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 Can yoga improve mood? 

Regular practice of yoga enhances the functions of the brain and the body’s hormones that play a primary role in the functioning of depression. Yoga serves as a complementary therapy that also treats anxiety and stress, and other mood disorders. It creates a greater sense of well-being, improves self-confidence and body image, increases feelings of relaxation, and improves cognitive function.

 Why do I cry during yoga? 

When doing yoga, you focus only on your own feelings and thoughts. That is, even if you are physically reinvigorating the parts of your body, you tend to release all sorts of emotions so you can learn and understand them. Through yoga’s potential in opening your body’s organs, muscles, and tissues, you bring to the surface your deep-seated sadness and fears with it.

 Which Pranayama is best for anxiety? 

The Pranayama that is best for anxiety is Shitali. It is a cooling form of yoga that calms and soothes the mind and body. It lowers blood cholesterol levels and relaxes the nerves. It also provides a good sense of balance and wellness in the physical, emotional, and mental aspects. It clears unwanted thoughts from the brain to allow you to feel decluttered and de-stressed. It reduces your anxiety and boosts your concentration and alertness.

 Who is the father of yoga? 

The known father of yoga is Tirumalai Krishnamacharya. He was a yoga teacher, scholar, and ayurvedic healer in India who invented yoga. Krishnamacharya is referred to as “the father of modern yoga,” as he was widely acknowledged as one of the most significant and prominent yoga teachers of the 20th century.

 Can pranayam cure bipolar disorder? 

Fortunately, yes. Pranayama helps in controlling your breathing. It enhances and stabilizes the activity of the brain to allow it to respond to its stressors accordingly. Pranayama’s meditation can induce an entire relaxation and self-control, which is curial in addressing any relapse to cope with bipolar disorder.

 What does Kapalbhati do to the body? 

Kapalbhati’s breathing exercise involves forceful breathing to increase the lungs’ capacity and strengthens. It is a type of yoga that aims to get rid of the body’s harmful toxins. Practicing Kapalbhati promotes a healthy heart and lungs as it helps in removing blockages.

 How can I stop my fear and anxiety? 

There are many ways to stop your fears and anxiety. But it is important to note that some strategies may work better with others but do not guarantee to give the same results to you. Regardless, you always take a break from all the stressors in your life. Learn to face your fears and try your best to picture yourself in a happy place. Don’t try to be perfect and focus on your overall emotional, physical, and mental development.

 Can yoga cure OCD?

Yes. Yoga can promote mindfulness meditation, and it can have a significant effect on OCD symptoms. It specifically focuses on thought-action fusion as well as the ability to let go of unwanted thoughts.

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Takeaway

Yoga helps your overall wellness and can change the way how you view exercise. But please remember that yoga alone is not a cure for mental illnesses. Thus, it would help if you still worked on other self-care tips that manage your emotional and mental health. Be mindful that there are no specific methods that can eliminate signs and symptoms of anxiety and depression. The process takes time, energy, and a lot of effort.

 

How Pilates Can Support Your Mental Health During The Pandemic

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The pandemic can cause you substantial stress due to several factors, including fear of contracting the disease and isolation due to imposed social distancing. This constant tension can significantly affect your mental well-being and overall ability to function normally. Likewise, it can worsen already existing mental health conditions. 

In any case, it is crucial to find healthy ways to cope, such as taking care of yourself through proper diet and exercise. These are not only an excellent way to look after yourself physically but also an effective way to uplift your mental well-being.

Pilates, like many other physical activities, is generally known to help alleviate stress and anxiety, among other things. However, because of Pilates’ mind-body nature, it also teaches you mindfulness and emotional awareness. As such, it can be an enormous aid to your mental health.

Here is a guide to help you navigate distressing times like a pandemic with pilates.

How Does The Pandemic Affect Us?

Let’s start off by addressing that it’s okay to feel whatever you feel in response to crises. Each of us has varying reactions to what is going on around us. It can differ depending on numerous factors like conditions at home, our financial situation, or our surrounding community. Sometimes, it can be internal, like having pre-existing medical conditions or mental health disorders.

Going back to the point earlier about how pandemics can worsen our mental health, it’s just as important to be aware of how a crisis impacts our lives. Studies have shown that a global emergency such as a fast-spreading disease can heighten negative experiences such as loneliness, anxiety, depression, and sleeplessness.

Whatever the extent of your circumstance is, your situation is entirely valid. Understanding and knowing this and that you are not alone is a strong start to supporting your mental health.

Learning Mindfulness To Cope During A Pandemic

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One way to effectively cope with stress, anxiety, and depression is to lean into the moment and sit with your emotions. Being conscious of your actions and even your thoughts is a skill that Pilates can teach you.

When you’re executing a routine, you focus on how and when you breathe in time with each movement. As you shift into a position, both your body and mind are engaged. Not only that, but you also gain the skill on how to zero in on what you are thinking and do away with noise such as negative thoughts.

Alongside this, Pilates trains you to control your breathing as you move. Breath control is a relaxation technique known to be effective when responding to stressful situations.

All in all, Pilates strengthens not only your body but also your mind by teaching you strategies that are also worthwhile beyond the mat.

Strengthen Your Connection With Yourself And Others

Stress and other negative emotions can indeed be a result of external factors like what is happening around us and the world. Other times, it is a result of the tension we carry in our bodies.

Existing physical conditions like chronic pain can also cause us discomfort and lead to stress. Pilates is an excellent means to relieve any tension in the body because it is designed to stretch and strengthen your muscles.

When you begin to feel better about yourself and have a better connection with your inner thoughts, you tend to be less agitated. Because you are less tense, you are likely to react more positively to others around you.

Maintaining connections is crucial during a global crisis that requires physical isolation. Having a sense of community and fellowship with other people is also an effective way to get you through a pandemic.

Finding Comfort In The Pilates Community

When you get into Pilates, you may be doing the movements yourself in your own little space, but you are also one of many people who practice it. It means that the opportunity of being part of a community that can provide support when it is most needed.

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As with any recreational activity or hobby, people tend to come together to share their experiences and learn new things from others. You don’t necessarily have to talk about the events surrounding you. Still, just the fact that you share the same interests with another makes you feel less alone.

Conclusion

Pandemic is a severe crisis with issues that extend beyond the disease itself. These issues include the mental well-being of many. Many of us have different ways of coping, and while in isolation, we may find ourselves looking for new things to do.

Having the ability to empower yourself and experience encouragement from a community is crucial in getting through a pandemic. Many instructors and students alike all share the same understanding of having a better mental state after getting into the practice.

Pilates does not only benefit your body physically but mentally as well. If you are having a hard time coping with the challenging situation that we are all in, it may be time for you to try and consider doing pilates. 

Answering Pilates Questions For The Family

I learned about Pilates for the first time when my upper body muscles started aching due to high-intensity workouts that I tried two years ago. A friend recommended it to me, saying that it changed her life. When someone says something like that about a fitness technique, I knew I had to give it a shot.

So, in the beginning, I enrolled in the same Pilates class that my friend went to. All these bed-like fixtures with moveable platforms and other contraptions, which I later found, were called Pilates reformers. They also had weights and magic circles to help strengthen students’ arm and shoulder muscles like me.

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The instructor had been incredibly courteous since my first day, too. I told Miss Pats my physical problem, and she said that it could be corrected by doing Pilates regularly. Of course, that’s amazing and all, but I happen to be working mom who doesn’t have two hours to spare all the time to do the classes. It’s why the HIIT exercises ended up hurting me in the first place—because I did it at home without an instructor’s supervision.

Luckily, Miss Pats had a positive outlook. She said, “Oh, you don’t need to come here often. You may do it once or twice a week, depending on your schedule, and follow-through by trying Pilates at home. It should be easy when you remember our lessons. You may even be able to share your newfound knowledge with your family.”

The generous instructor’s last sentence made me think further. Pilates with my husband and two young children? I am all for it. Hence, I asked Miss Pats a few questions regarding the matter, which she answered graciously.

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What Equipment Should I Get For At-Home Pilates?

I honestly mentioned to the instructor that a Pilates reformer could no longer fit in my house. After all, my husband and I have two separate offices and a mini gym. We already converted the family room into the children’s playroom, and I could not think of possible space for the equipment.

Miss Pats suggested that the bulky machine was great, but it was not a total necessity. She uttered, “I do Pilates at home, too, and I do not have a Pilates reformer there. All you need is a yoga mat, some resistance bands, and the determination to do the exercises.” Truth be told, getting those things allowed me to work out without going to the studio, and they were effortless to roll up and stash in the closet afterward.

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Source: flickr.com

Can My Kids Do Pilates?

I am a mother of four beautiful children—two girls and two boys. Because of my full-time job, there are only a few things that we can do to bond with each other. When I come home from work, I cook our dinner and help them with school assignments, but that’s mostly it. It makes me feel guilty, but we also need to save up for their college, which will undoubtedly be expensive.

When I asked the instructor if my children can genuinely try Pilates, she said yes. As it turned out, the same studio where she was teaching had classes for kids below the age of ten. They also had couples’ classes for parents and the little ones, which sounded fun. I brought all four of my children to one once, and my girls especially showed interest in the activity. Now, they have their own mats at home, and we do Pilates together.

answering-pilates-questions-for-the-family
Source: mildenhall.af.mil

Can Boys Do Pilates?

My boys did not enjoy their first immersion into Pilates because they merely saw little girls in the class. The older one said, “Mom, I only want to do activities that other boys do. I am not a girl.”

Of course, I understood my son’s sentiment. But Miss Pats insisted that I take them to class the next day and said that her sons would be there, too. Everyone showed up, and yes, the instructor’s boys could genuinely follow along with the Pilates instructions. All of a sudden, my kids no longer felt like it was a girl thing anymore. They also got mats, as well as my husband.

Final Thoughts

Pilates has done wonders for my body. My core was no longer too weak, to the point that I could do crunches a hundred times without stopping. I started lifting barbells and hiking again, and my arms, legs, and shoulders did not give up under pressure.

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Source: needpix.com

Similarly, my husband and children enjoy doing Pilates these days. I love how the kids especially felt like they were getting stronger than ever with each session. They were taking the workout seriously, and the coaches in their respective sports said that they see a lot of improvement in my children’s strength and flexibility. It was all a parent could ask for, so I could see our family doing Pilates for as long as we could.

 

 

 

Working Your Core Through Pilates While On Quarantine

 

Source: secbi.com

 

This is probably one of the most challenging times in people’s lives – to be kept apart from family and friends for months for fear of further spreading the coronavirus. This is also the longest time that most people have stayed at home 24/7 because of the quarantine and social distancing measures that were implemented state and countrywide. Most of us have adapted to working at home, distance learning, and other kinds of essential activities that are required for us to survive and thrive.

What about keeping yourself physically and mentally healthy? I, for one, have been jumping from one exercise regimen to the other just to make sure that I am fit while staying at home. Yesterday, I started a program that I’ve always wanted to do but have never done before the pandemic hit, simply because I didn’t find the time and effort to do so. But this time, this global crisis has encouraged me to challenge myself and do something that not only helps me tone my core muscles but also increase my patience and determination. I started a mind and body workout known as Pilates.

Let me share some of the best moves that emphasize the midsection of your core muscles. You won’t need any equipment for these moves, which is why I love them. You can start them like I did, doing first the ones that are easy for you to do. Slowly, you can incorporate all the exercises for the rest of the week.

The Moves

  • Leg Circle. Lie on your back with both arms by your sides and your palms down. Flex your right knee and stead your left foot grounded on the floor. Then straighten your left leg up in a way that it is in a 90-degree angle to the floor. Move your left leg to form a big circle in the air while keeping your back flat on the floor. Do a reverse circle. Complete all repetitions on the left leg and then move to the right leg.

 

Source: pexels.com

 

  • One Hundred. Lie on your back. Raise both legs up with the feet facing the ceiling and then slowly move them down until they are halfway. When you feel stable, raise your head up as you extend your arms along your body, keeping your palms facing down. Pump your arms upward and downward as you inhale for five seconds and exhale for five seconds. Repeat ten times or more as you progress.

 

  • Criss-Cross. Lying face up, pull both knees up and inward to your chest. Stabilize your head by placing both hands behind it while keeping your elbows flexed. Move your head up; bring your right shoulder toward your left knee as you straighten your right leg. Do the same on your left shoulder, bringing it towards your right knee and extending your left leg. Do this alternately.

 

  • Scissor Kicks. Still lying face up, straighten your right leg upward, so that is it in a 90-degree angle to the floor. Pull your right leg to your face with both your hands while moving your head up as well. Now, try to raise your left leg to the ceiling. Do the same on the other leg.

 

  • The Teaser. While you lie with your face up, flex your knees beyond your hips and then raise your feet away from the mat. Straighten both legs while trying to stretch out your arms to reach your feet and raising your head and shoulders off of the mat.

 

  • Pendulum. While lying face up with both arms stretched out to your sides, flex your knees over your hips and raise your feet off of the mat. Then slowly move the knees towards the right while keeping your lower back grounded on the floor. Return to beginning position then do these again on the other side.

 

Source: pickpik.com

 

  • Planks with Leg Lift. Begin in a high plank position with both your hands under your shoulders. Lift the left leg off the floor towards the ceiling, as high as you can, then do the other side. Always contract your core, quads, and butt while doing this (and the rest of the other activities).

Some of these moves may be tough to do at first, but you have so much time in your hands with the social distancing guidelines still active, and probably will be for quite some time. So use your time wisely and work on that core!

 

 

 

 

Staying Fit And Glowing While On Self-Isolation

watching tv

Source: beautynews.com.au

Before anything, I’d like to tell you that I’m a carefree party chick that couldn’t stay home if I’m not sleeping – until this crisis came around. So you just imagine how difficult it is for me! But as the days went by since the quarantine, I realized that watching the bad and sad news on television with some popcorn and soda has never done me any good at all. It has only made my life damper and duller. How about you? How are you doing these days?

If you’re feeling frustrated, stuck, and depressed, then let’s change that mindset now, shall we? Let’s try to start using our free time on the things that we have wanted to do, but we haven’t because we thought we had better things scheduled. Let’s not be drawn to the bleakness of self-isolation. This is an opportunity for us to focus on relaxation, self-care, and fitness to keep us glowing amid the pandemic.

Always Drink Water. We think this is too easy, but it’s not. A lot of people don’t get to drink the required amount of water to keep them hydrated – and it seems worse when they’re at home. If you want to see some glow in your skin without spending too much, always drink water. It’s good for digestion also. Just so you won’t forget, fill up your big water bottle and remember to drink it all up within eight hours. Then fill it up again for your consumption in the next few hours. You’re going to feel great.

Do Some Isolation Time In The Kitchen. If you were not used to seeing your kitchen before (like me), then now is the perfect time to learn how to cook. Start with the simple breakfast recipes, like an omelet, french toast, and pancakes. Then proceed with the all-time favorites – pasta, baked chicken, and steak. You’ll see how much valuable time you’ve spent in your kitchen once you start to like cooking. Perhaps you can get that oven to heat up since it hasn’t been used for months!

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Source: commons.wikimedia.org

Engage In Physical Activity. The worst excuse you can give is ‘I don’t have time,’ because you have all of it. You must spend 30 minutes to one hour of physical fitness to keep yourself healthy. You can choose to do different workout plans daily. Maybe you want your Mondays and Wednesdays to go a little slow and relaxing, so you can do yoga and pilates. You can level up on Tuesdays and Thursdays and do some Crossfit training regimen. By the time the quarantine is over, you’ll have a robust plan in place.
Get Enough Sleep. Sleeping 8 to 10 hours is easy, especially since you’re not busy at all. Turn off the alarms and turn off your television when you go to sleep so nothing else can disturb your beauty sleep. If you don’t know this yet, getting sufficient sleep is a surefire way to having beautiful glowing skin. It’s a mood booster too.
Clean and Declutter. When did you ever try cleaning your room down from the tiniest dirt on the floor? Maybe never? Do your room some justice and make it squeaky clean. Scrub the floors, remove the dust from the closet and windows, and finally, declutter your things. You’ll be sweating and losing calories while making yourself proud of what you’ve done. The last thing you should do is spray some air freshener in the room so that it’ll be smelling fresh.
Books on Rack
Source: pexels.com
Choose Some Good Books To Read. I love to read, but I just couldn’t stay at home for an hour to do it. In the middle of the quarantine, I picked up a book from my shelf, one that I bought a few months ago but never gave it the time of day. I finished it within two days, and I felt so accomplished. Maybe you could do the same. If you don’t dream of new dreams, I’m sure you’ll learn something new and inspiring from your read.
With all these activities lined up for you, self-isolation wouldn’t be too bleak and dreary at all.

Now more than ever, self-isolation calls for the guidance of online counseling and therapy from apps like BetterHelp. By reaching out for help from licensed professionals, you can ease your navigation of the quarantine period. If you want to know more about how they can help, you can check this review from Indeed.

Ways Of Creating Economic Growth

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Economic growth was the highlight of the 2019 Economics Conference. The goal of the major host, which was SDMIMD or Shri Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara Institute for Management Development, was to provide quality management education for their country India and the rest of the nations around the world. Thus, the event was organized. Economists and policymakers from across the world came to attend the prestigious and relevant conference to exchange current information about economic growth and development. There were a lot of discussions, presentations, and Q and A sessions to come up with better solutions and improved measures in order to achieve a more successful and sustainable future.

Here are some of the ways to create economic growth.

Innovation And Startups. These two are fuels of economic growth. Young entrepreneurs are risk-takers who are helping create new companies and providing jobs for the American people. Encouraging them and the rest of the brave innovators in one’s country will help improve the economic downturn.

Stop The War On Drugs. The United States has spent billions on the war on drugs, yet the situation has not improved. Perhaps it is time to try Spain’s policies regarding drugs – treat the addicts and tax the marijuana users. Legalization has never shown to add to the ill effects of drug use. This can generate more revenue. According to economists, legalizing marijuana saves the American government more than $7 billion annually, just on enforcement.

Encourage The Jobless To Volunteer. The longer the unemployed are paid, the longer they stay jobless. The right solution would be to shorten the length of unemployment insurance and require those receiving these checks to do volunteer work in non-profit companies, for example. This way, they gain new skills and new references as well, which can help them become better in the next careers that they may attain in the future.

Person Holding Pen and Life Insurance Paper Beside Macbook Pro, HD wallpaper

Source: wallpaperflare.com

Reduce Healthcare Cost. Undeniably, not everyone can afford to pay for health care costs. We must stop encouraging doctors to prescribe expensive medications. A lot of doctors around the world get a percentage of the drugs they prescribe their patients. If the government works with the people and bans drug company rebates to these doctors, then we will surely be able to cut insurance spending, such as Medicare.