Do you do Pilates? If your answer is yes, well, guess what? You also meditate! Which also means, you're now officially a Buddhist. Ok, that last sentence is not true at all, but the mediation part is, and it's one of the coolest aspects of Pilates that's not often talked about.
Meditation has been a part of my life for over a decade. There are many different types of practices, but the one constant is that you are taking attention away from your thoughts in order to be in your body in the here and now. One definition of mediation in its simplest form is: “Meditation is the practice of turning one's attention to a single point of reference. It can involve focusing on the breath, on our bodily sensations, or on a word or phrase. In other words, meditation means pivoting away from distracting thoughts and focusing on the present moment.”
My favorite practice has always been body-centered mediation, where you focus your attention on different parts of your body while breathing deeply into them. Umm… sound familiar? One of the things you've most likely noticed while doing Pilates, is that you simply can not think about your grocery list, your evening plans, or what you're going to make for that potluck you have to go to tomorrow. For that precious hour of you-time that you're in the studio, you're having to focus so intently on what your body is doing, on those tiny muscles you never even knew you had...and on your breath, that everything else just falls away. Without even realizing it, you leave your session feeling lighter, more centered, and more grounded— almost as though you meditated for that hour— because, you kinda did.