Let’s talk about the unseen benefits of pilates for a moment.

We hear words like strength, toning, flexibility all the time when it comes to pilates.  And whilst they are all incredible benefits, they tend to focus on the physical aspects of it.

But what about the things that are perhaps not as immediately obvious but just as important? 

Using pilates as a stress relieving tool is actually the number one reason I practise. 

After losing Dad, I learned just how stressful caring for someone can be and how important it is to stay healthy in body and mind, so as you can be the best carer you can.

Back then I wasn’t running my own business.

Since mum’s double surgery and chemotherapy, let’s just say I’m definitely experiencing some new challenges when it comes to staying on top of my stress levels.

I’m noticing that I need to work twice as hard to strike a balance between being the best support I can be for her whilst also balancing my own needs and the needs of my business as it continues to grow (I’m quickly learning it’s like having a small child!).

We all have caring roles to some degree so here are just 3 ways that pilates can you help you be the best carer for whoever needs you too (and that includes your business!):

I’m curious, did you know that pilates could help you in this way? 

Let me know in the comments or come and say hello over on instagram.

This morning it was such a joy to take my gorgeous Ostara community members through a 30 minute Mindful Morning Pilates session over on Facebook Live.

One thing I’ve been asking our members to do these past few months, is to make sure they are making time for themselves – even if that is just 5 minutes on the floor with a door shut somewhere in their house.

It’s been a tumultuous couple of months and I think we’re all really feeling the effects of living in a very different way.

So a virtual squeeze from me and an opportunity to help them top up their energy bank!

To set them up, these were the 5 tips I shared to help them get the most out of it:

Pilates focused on relaxing and replenishing.

Simple and ready for the weekend.

Happy Friday

Love Julie x

P.S. Am curious, what would you add to the list above?

P.P.S. Check out my blog post on breathing exercises to relax and calm the mind

After a hard day’s work, sometimes heading to the gym for a big sweaty workout session can seem like the last thing you feel like doing. Thank goodness for pilates then. You can roll out your mat at home and in as little as 20 minutes feel stronger, rejuvenated and more relaxed. You don’t need any expensive equipment and you don’t need to be a celebrity to do it either!

1. It’s a simple way to send stress packing

I recently surveyed my long standing clients who shared that just one hour of pilates a week left them feeling less stressed and more energised afterwards. Pilates has a magical quality to it; it will bring your body and your mind together from the minute you step onto your mat and leave them talking long after a session. Breathing, relaxing and flowing movements all help to calm the nervous system, lower your stress levels and focus your mind.

Not only that, my pilates community are incredibly fun to be around so spending any amount of time with them is guaranteed to lift your spirits.

2. It future proofs your body

Start it before you have any aches and pains like in your low back, and you stand to reap the benefits of the practice long term; core strength, flexibility, balance and better posture are just a few of the pay outs of a consistent practice. A low impact form of exercise, it targets your bones and joints moving them in a healthy way that keeps them mobile, well oiled and helps maintain bone strength which can help protect proactively against things like osteoporosis.

3. Anyone can do it

One of my most favourite things about pilates is that it is a non competitive form of exercise that any body can do AND reap the benefits. It is gentle and kind on the body but still has the ability to leave you feeling like you have worked out. I teach a whole variety of classes and people, shapes and sizes. From foundational beginner sessions (i have one kicking off on Monday 11 May – just FYI), that focus on teaching you the all important basics of the method, to more conditioning based dynamic reformer sessions, to junior pilates, pre and post natal and silver swans; there is something for every body at every stage of their life so don’t be fooled into thinking pilates is only for the instagram generation – it’s a lot more than fancy inversions and the ability to bend over and touch your toes!

4. No poor posture here folks

Pilates is used by everyone from athletes, to celebrities, to those chained to their desk 24/7 because of its ability to develop strengthen and correct posture in the key areas of the hips/lower back, upper back and neck. Basically counteracting the effects of slouching.

Typically in a class I’ll look to focus on areas effected by sitting all day in C position (aka the rather unattractive ‘hunched back’). A session will see me targeting and releasing overactive areas of the chest, shoulders, upper back and hip flexor muscles as well as activating and strengthening your bum, abs and shoulder stabilisers.

Muscles are worked in isolation and then more dynamically in a functional way (how they were designed to be used in daily life). This all helps with training dynamic stability, which is the body’s ability to hold itself in good alignment and an upright posture for longer periods of time. This is important because it means your body can respond to the demands placed on it in faster and in safer ways (that means your less likely to incur wear and tear injuries by the way – see point 2 above).

5. It’s a no fuss way to exercise

Like i said at the start, you can roll out your mat at home and you don’t need any expensive equipment. Technically you don’t even need a mat as long as you have something soft to lie on to protect your back!

Comfortable joggie bottoms or leggings and some water to sip on and your good to pilates!

For other hints and tips on how pilates can help you build strength, reduce stress and feel great, follow us on instagram and facebook or sign up to receive the Ostara Living newsletter below.