Concentration: In Pilates, you are looking to get the best from each repetition of every exercise you do, and that can only happen if you give your full focus and attention to your body. So this is really where the Mind-Body connection starts. Concentrating your whole mind on what your body is doing (and also what it is not doing), is the first step to developing true Body Awareness. And just as you are thinking about the parts of your body that are moving, you also want to be aware of the parts of the body that are still. For example: being aware of your shoulders tensing up while doing leg-work or knowing whether your legs are aligned when doing arm work.
The more you practise Concentration as part of your Pilates work out, the more natural it will become, and you will in turn gain greater benefits from your session. It is easier said than done of course, and it can be difficult to focus if you have had a busy day or have a lot of “stuff” on your mind. But next time you find yourself mentally planning your evening meal or composing a work email while doing Footwork on The Reformer, try to bring your focus back to the body.
It can be helpful to run a little “body-scan” while you are moving and take a moment to check in on different parts of the body, and notice what they are doing (or not doing).
By concentrating fully on your body and sending your focus inward, you are not only gaining a greater physical benefit but you are also giving your mind a rest. A much needed rest from all this other stuff called Life. And this is what gives you that post-Pilates feeling of lightness.
And you so deserve that!