I've had a love affair with Pilates and yoga for a decade now. You could say I'm polyamorous when it comes to these methods. I teach both and love them equally.
A few years ago, I decided to become a yoga teacher. I had been teaching Pilates for quite some time and had an active yoga practice in addition to Pilates. I knew I was meant to teach yoga, so I dove right into a teacher training. I didn't really learn about the chakras until my 300 YTT with The Kaivalya Yoga Method. My teacher Alanna was able to explain these energy centers in such a way that it had a profound, life-altering effect on me. From that moment on, I understood how important the chakras were to our collective well-being.
So, what are chakras? The chakras are living, breathing energy centers located in our body. Matter at its tiniest, most observable form is energy. We are made of matter; therefore we are made of energy. There are parts of our body where a dense amount of energy exists.
That is a chakra. We have seven major chakras that line up along our spine starting with the root chakra at our tailbone, and ending with the crown chakra at the very top of our head. When one of our chakras is unbalanced, every other chakra will suffer because energy is affected by everything. Imbalances are caused by everyday life stress and painful past experiences that are stuck inside our bodies. This reveals itself as pain, disease, and tight muscles.
Through researching these energy centers I discovered how they could be healed. Movement is one of the many ways you can restore your chakras because it literally moves stagnant energy around. Pilates is one of the greatest forms of movement out there.
Read on for five ways Pilates can help you heal your chakras:
Pilates strengthens and lengthens the deep muscles surrounding your spine, which is where the chakras live. In order for movement to heal your energetic body, it first has to strengthen your physical body.
One of the main principles of Pilates is flow. Flowing movement fully integrates your mind, body, and spirit. To be able to flow you must trust your mind/body and let your spirit release. Energy (your chakras) is your spirit!
Joseph Pilates' entire method was developed to strengthen the spine through alignment-based exercises. The spine is where each one of the major chakras exists. It only makes sense that if we strengthen the home of these energy centers, your chakras will become more balanced.
4. Mental concentration
Pilates not only works your core, but it also works your mind. You learn to control your body with your mind by concentrating on one action at a time. By doing this, you enter into a state of moving meditation.
Your mind, body, and spirit become one, and your energy is able to settle into a state of ease. Developing this part of our body during exercise basically kills two birds with one stone. You're getting a great workout and magnifying your mind's potential.
Joseph Pilates once said, "Breathing is the first act of life and the last. Our very life depends on it." Breath is an essential tool to heal and it's also the voice of our spirit. Think about it—whenever we feel stressed out, anxious, or heartbroken, we hold our breath. The energy that it takes to breathe becomes paralyzed by whatever emotion we are overcome with. Pilates teaches us to control and use our breath even during exercises that are super difficult!
Restoring your chakras takes dedication, persistence, and awareness. We've all had those moments of clarity, connection, and empowerment. Many times it's after an exercise class. Pilates is the ultimate mind, body, and core exercise method that will leave you feeling powerful, realigned, and awakened. Chakras on point!