Is Pilates Spiritual?

  Someone asked me last week. “Is Pilates Spiritual? Do you consider your Pilates class a spiritual class? ”  I had answered, “my classes are about inner focus, awareness, breath and alignment. If that is spiritual for you, then you can get a spiritual experience from my class.”

  This conversation made me smile and wondered: What a funny question, I feel everything in life is a prayer and everything in my life is spiritual. I had never gave it a thought if what i teach is spiritual or not. Whether it is Pilates, Yoga or Chi-gung. Whether I do Meditation, Massage or Haircuts. Its all connected. Different paths/disciplines taking us to the same destination of awareness and connections with ourselves and our divinity. 

Spirituality is very personal and different for everyone. What works for one, may not work for another. Teaching is also very different for everyone. You can take the same class from two different teachers and you will get a totally different feel from both and will/can benefit different things from each teacher and class.

  Now, does Pilates have the same spiritual meaning and history as yoga?" No.  Although anything can be a spiritual practice, its our intention and what we focus on. Like all things, we can focus on the superficial or we can focus on moving from the deep inner parts of ourselves.

Pilates is well known in the dance world for it’s use for rehab and recovery. It was originally developed to use as rehab for soldiers and then it was taken up by dancers for the same reason. Because the history and it’s original intention, most people will identify Pilates as a body oriented exercise.

  Personally, I feel that it doesn’t matter what kind of class you are taking or teaching, even if the initial goal is practical and more about strengthening the body. As long as there is a longing inside of ourselves to find alignment and wholeness, we will always feel and find spirit present. When our body is able to let go, and move into the space of less effort ,less performance and more into the experience of the work or situation. There is a buoyancy of spirit that arrives from the work. Our mind and our body can work as partners, so our spirit can find expression.

  I believe Spirit is everywhere. The body is the house for our spirit. It’s the vechicle our spirit manifest through. So what we do with our body will affect and is intimately linked to how healthy and strong our spirit can be.

  Pilates is a philosophy of movement. It is a system that is committed to to total body health and breath, whether  we are exercising in a Pilate s studio, walking, sitting, eating, or any other activities of life. It’s principles impact everything you do.

  Optimal health is the integration and harmony of mind, body, spirit and emotions. Alot of attention is placed on the physical well-being because it is the most tangible aspect of health. Regardless of what class you are taking, as long as you are having fun, in the end, all that counts is, if you are feeling lighter and better afterwards and if you are happy.