One of the goals of practicing Pilates and Yoga is to develop a more mindful approach to movement which we can then bring to our everyday lives. When reaching or bending or lifting, the alignment principles we are taught in Yoga and Pilates can help us perform these tasks more easily and without injury.
Recently I came across some thoughts on mindfulness provided by Sharon Salzberg in an interview with Krista Tibbett (find more at OnBeing.org). Sharon Salzberg is a teacher of Buddhist thought and meditation and is the author of several books, including Loving-kindness, Faith, and most recently, Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation. In the interview she was talking about meditation, but I think these thoughts can apply to any discipline we are trying to establish and maintain. Ms. Salzberg says, “Isn’t it ironic that if someone said to us, ‘Here is this thing you can do 20 minutes a day, and it will really help your friend,’ we’d probably do it. But to put in that 20 minutes for ourselves is much more difficult.”
She goes on to say, “It is difficult, but if we really consider the reported benefits, we also see that doing something like meditation [or exercise – my addition] isn’t selfish or self-centered. If we become depleted, overwhelmed by the circumstances of our lives, perpetually irritable, or disconnected, we are not going to be able to give much to others.Try to make a commitment you can keep — even five minutes a day is a good beginning, and a way to cut through the momentum of our busy-ness and lack of connection to our inner lives. Mindfulness isn’t about what is happening; it is about how we are relating to what is happening — how much awareness, balance and compassion are bringing to this moment’s experience, whatever it is. We don’t practice mindfulness to become a great meditator; we practice to have a more balanced, aware, and connected life.”
Food for thought! Find more at OnBeing.org.