The Mental Body of Your Pilates Client

Now this is a body that most of us are (unconciously) conciously aware of.

This is our “thinking” body. The one with which we make our rational decisions based on information and input from the inside and outside world.This is the mind part of our body/mind discipline of Pilates.

For the most part, our thoughts are the vehicle through which our emotions are brought forth. It gives you the language in which to communicate to the outside world how you are feeling.

But somewhere, somehow, something has been lost in the translation of our feelings into our thinking body.

How many of us can overide our feelings and rationalise the thought? How many of us have the ability to shut down the emotional part of ourselves in the fear of seeming “wrong or different”?

This for me, becomes glaringly obvious during Pilates sessions. One of my favorite cues is “how does this exercise feel?” The answer?…”fine, just fine”. Two days later the client is in pain and has cancelled her appointment. Do I feel I am to blame? No. I try very hard to get my clients to understand THEIR responsibility for their own welfare. If they feel pain, they should stop. BUT for the most part, we have been indoctrinated with the concept that exercise should hurt if it is to be productive. No pain, no gain. So most of us have over ridden the emotional body that is feeling the discomfort and replaced this with our thinking body telling us that “this is good pain”,”it has to get worse before it can get better”, ” a sore muscle means you’ve worked out”.

What this means is that there is no balance between the subtle bodies. Sometimes an overly emotional person just needs time to stop and think about the situation just as an emotionally challenged person needs to open up and feel more. But our society today has become far too much an intellectualised,reason and researched based entity detached from feelings.

One of the best things about Pilates I “feel” is the ability to create a space in which it is safe for the client to acknowledge and open up to all the subtle bodies. The physical/etheric, emotional and mental.The Pilates principle of breathing begins this journey by allowing the body to calm and focus. Then the physical body is activated by the movement. The emotional body allows the client to decide what feels good and what doesn’t and then the mental body makes the decision to change the position, add or decrease the resistance of the springs, ask for more stretches, or if all else fails, realise that today is NOT a good day to exercise and go home 🙂


Leave a Comment