Attentiveness goes to the core of Pilates
Thinking, planning, and measured action are as important in Pilates as performing the exercises-they are the core of the discipline and together they constitute attentiveness.
Top level Pilates rests on a qualified instructor drawing from their knowledge and experience to make a holistic assessment, and teaching accordingly.
What is attentiveness?
The most fundamental of human needs is to be valued. Value, and being valued must, by definition, has a unique degree of meaning to every person, from a burning quest for love, to simply being heard, along with every conceivable permeation in between.
Attentiveness usefully covers all these positions. At its most basic, attentiveness communicates or displays a conscious perception of another, without judgement. In less psychological language, it means giving undistracted and disinterested (that is, objective or unbiased) time to listening to other people.
Personal attentiveness is active awareness of your own body and its functions. Heightened self-awareness comes about in and through Pilates as the means of controlling full body co-ordinated movement with breath for refined performance.
Why is attentiveness important now?
The world grows larger in multiple directions-people, technologies, and choices. But do we grow larger with the world, or does its very growth diminish us as individuals capable of reaching out to others?
Infinity holds that attentiveness to each element of Pilates is the overarching principle that unites our other four principles, bringing about harmony between body, mind, and spirit.
How does attentiveness fit with Pilates?
Joseph Pilates warned of the danger of ‘mindless repetitions’ that haunt so many health and wellness disciplines. In its place he called for mindfulness at every step, beginning with thinking and planning, and carrying out the movements themselves. In Pilates, less is truly more.
Infinity likes to use a travel analogy to explain attentiveness. Reaching, exploring and safely returning from a distant destination requires thoughtful attention to every component of the journey—how you plan, where you begin, how you move, and your choice of destination.
Concentrating on and repeating only one or two of these points doesn’t make a complete journey at all. And so it is with the body. Mindless repetition results in fatigue, unnecessary stress, wear and tear, monotony, and even injury.
Instead, Pilates promotes quality before quantity as the key to careful work, enhanced performance, and mental and physical engagement at a deeper level.
Creativity and variety replace boredom and imbalance
To be mindful in each exercise is the goal. Designing your personal program lets us devise a regimen that allows for creativity and variety in place of boredom, imbalance, and the potential for damage and disillusionment.
With a focused attention to breathing, and adhering to the number of repetitions, the exercise becomes more fluid, precise and controlled. The process also frees the mind of distracting thoughts, a major benefit.
Pilates and attentiveness share many of the values and traits that make attentiveness such a valuable social and community lubricant.
At its very core, top level Pilates rests on a qualified instructor drawing from their knowledge and experience to make a holistic assessment, and teaching accordingly. As the relationship between instructor and participant deepens, so does the evaluation and the subtlety or intensity of the Pilates program.
Because of its reputation for attention to the body/mind/spirit balance, enthusiastic clients approach Pilates knowing their needs will be assessed individually, privately, and respectfully.
Superior education, teaching, and performance
Adherence to the spirit and principles of the Pilates method is the foundation on which we build engagement and trust. With this comes a devotion to superior educational, teaching, and performance standards in facilities designed for optimal success.
The best Pilates practices display high attentiveness in all these areas:
- Full client health history and goals: these allow the development of a completely personalised program that can flex to meet your changing needs
- Studio equipment, layout and flow: provision of contemporary Pilates-compliant apparatus, studio etiquette protocols, and class flows to achieve maximum outcomes for your personal situation
- Clear, concise communications: consistent, timely language and appropriate physical cues to generate understanding, education, and physical change for long term benefit
When all these combine, the instructor, client, and studio work in harmony, and attentiveness forms a self-actualising cycle of steady and constant enrichment.