Finding Your Mind Body Connection

Camel Stretch- a yoga pose
Making the connection

In Pilates class, you’ll often hear me talk about the mind body connection. I thought it would be good today to take a moment to look at just what that means.

When we talk about mind body connection what this simply means is having your body respond how you want it to, when you want it – getting the right signals from your brain to your various body parts and muscles. At a deeper level – mind body connection deals with how well connected you are to what your body is doing, feeling, responding and what muscles are causing this to occur.

So let’s look next at how this could be helpful in athletic pursuits and everyday activities.

In Pilates, the more you can feel how your body is working the more you can engage and utilize the proper muscles. When students are new or maybe not very strong, there is a tendency to compensate with the stronger muscles. For example – with legs in straps if you are not strong in your core, you may power through with your legs while your pelvis rocks and rolls all over. Once you gain strength and feel how the core can assist with this work, you will see better results.

Some years ago I took a snow skiing lesson while out west. I mentioned to my instructor that my quads were always so sore after skiing. Her response, “Then you are not skiing properly!”  She observed that I was sitting back too far in my boots and riding the back of my skis too much. As a result I was holding on with my quads. Once I adjust my posture, where I felt the work changed too! Being aware of what muscles were working helped me to correct my form and function.

Over a year ago, I started to experience issues with my left hamstring. All of my efforts to stretch or rest the hamstring seemed futile. I began seeing a muscle activation specialist/chiropractor. It took some visits and questions on his part before we figured out the root of the problem was actually an unstable low back. My back never bothered me but because it was not strong enough my hamstring was working over time. Because I was able to assess and respond to how I felt during various activities, the Doctor was able to find the problem. Strengthening my back alleviated my hamstring issues!

These are just a few examples of how being in tune with our bodies can help us out in more than just Pilates class. We live in our bodies so we should take the time to get to know them!

5 thoughts on “Finding Your Mind Body Connection

    1. Interesting question! I believe our emotions can hold us back physically from achieving the healthy results we want. I also believe when we focus on hating our bodies it’s hard to have success or see our potential. Focusing on loving what we can do or the progress we make even when it is small gives us the strength to keep going and improving.

      Thanks for reading and commenting 🙂

      1. I was speaking to a friend today about wearing healing stones. I just started wearing jasper. I question whether it is my mind giving me success or is it the stone. I have a pilates instructor that I just started with and we went over using a ball to massage deep muscle tissue and she told me that she has seen people who do this and then start to cry and they can’t seem to control it or understand it. Wow such an interesting post thanks!

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