Learning to Balance Your Life through Pilates Practice

A blue background with grass in the foreground. A white flower with a brown stem is in the middle
This small flowered is centered in the picture. Is your life centered like this flower?

Learning to balance your life through pilates starts with a focus on equilibrium. Equilibrium is known as a state of rest or balance due to the equal action of opposing forces. Therefore, balance applies to many situations in life. If life is stable, and you have a steady work/life balance, the scales of life are equal. However, if you’re not getting enough sleep or are overly stressed, the scale will tip off-balance.

So why is balance so important? And why does learning more about balance go hand-in-hand with pilates practice? In physics, it’s the predominant force; balance uses momentum, the energy that occurs when an object is set into motion. Moreover, if an object needs to go uphill, there has to be enough force to push it upwards.

Hence, when the phrase, ‘a life in balance,’ comes to mind, many think it’s an uphill battle that requires excessive work to get to a steady, healthful state. But what if you’re already at the top of your game and didn’t have to go up the hill?

Even so, as you age, you may think you’re on a downhill spiral; like you’re on a steep sliding board and can’t stop.

Clearly know that you have a choice.

Although it seems impossible, you can start at the top of your game and prepare yourself to be more proactive.

Be sure to maximize your time and energy to fulfill your days beyond your expectations.

In other words, changing your mindset is the best route to consistent change. So what do you think? 

There are multiple kinds of balance to consider when thinking about your health and wellness. Furthermore, some of the different kinds are:

Bodily balance

Bodily balance is the ability to:

  1. Stand on one foot and put your shoes on.
  2. Stand on your toes to put a light bulb in a socket.
  3. Hit a golf or tennis ball and produce enough momentum for the ball to go far.
  4. React if you unexpectedly step on something to prevent a tumble.
Mental Balance

Mental balance is the ability to:

  1. Concentrate on what is important.
  2. Keep your emotions in check and express them appropriately.
  3. Absorb and process information readily.
  4. Connect with people with a personal belief system.
Physical Health Balance

Physical health balance is the ability to:

  1. Eat a well-rounded, healthful, and energy filled diet that creates vitality.
  2. Avoid catastrophic health events by monitoring health risks and taking early action.
  3. Complete daily tasks without undue fatigue or pain.

How does the Pilates Technique provide solutions to keeping the Body in Balance?

German physical trainer and inventor of the Pilates method, Joseph Pilates, believed that exercise with deep diaphragmatic breathing,  control, focus on form, symmetry, and coordination could bring the body back into balance. As a result, you would see positive changes in your everyday life.

Here’s how the Pilates technique evidently works!
Bodily Balance
A green backdrop with an grey, stone archway in the foreground.
Taking a walk can help clear your mind and help you get back on track.

To achieve a standing posture with symmetry, start with the feet up. In addition, be sure to activate your core and drop your tailbone. Once you achieve this, relax your body and open your chest.

Undoubtedly, a focused standing posture can help with:

  • footwork
  • single-leg support
  • balance while eyes are closed
  • multiple movements
  • functional skills
Mental Balance

Mental balance isn’t as simple when compared to bodily balance. Because focusing your mind on tasks and seeing them through to completion will take a different kind of focus, use these Pilates skills to achieve harmony for your brain:

  • Concentrate on proper diaphragmatic breathing patterns.
  • Expand your rib cage in all planes.
  • Contract the deep abdominal muscles with each exhale.
  • Continuously concentrate on proper form and alignment.
  • Perform opposite movement patterns that usually require extra coordination.
  • Use multiple parts of the body in a progressive movement.
  • Freely and confidently relate to others spiritually.

Physical Balance

Trees surround white Japanese cranes that cascade on a branch downwards onto a rock in the center of the picture.
Origami is an art that takes a delicate touch. Dedicate your time to focus on bettering yourself.

Once your bodily and mental planes are in harmony, physical balance will come together naturally in the realm of your being. Watch these results happen once you focus on each step of the process:

  • Greater efficiency in getting things done.
  • Enhanced peace, relaxation, and focus.
  • The Mind, Body, and Spirit work in tandem to ensure total balance and equilibrium.
  • Physical Balance leads to physical health, and the bodily organs are stimulated through exercise.

Certainly, learning to balance your life using pilates practice will take some time and attention. Since you’re trying to find balance in your life, take the time to focus on each component of the process, and you’ll be well on your way to centering yourself and gaining symmetrical stability for every part of yourself. Check out this video for a visual walk-through on how-to balance yourself!

Susan Baver Mann, PT, DPT