The Goal vs. the Activity

We've all heard of mind body exercise, and most people would say that sounds like an important thing to do even if it is not at first appealing. It requires slowing down and meditating, right? Something that interrupts the hurried flow of our life.... Well, that is not exactly the point.

"The Mind joins the Body when the Goal is NOT more important than the activity." This statement perfectly describes a "mind body" form of exercise. Nothing more and nothing less. But how do you commit to anything without a goal? Especially a tiring workout. We would only do that if it promised us the bodies that we dream of, and the youth we cling to and the next achievement to rave about.

Take this for an example, if I come to Pilates for weight loss and with that goal I have a set of expectations. I expect to sweat a lot. To be in pain for days afterward. To "feel the burn." I show up, ready for the first day of the rest of my life, and find out I have to lie down and feel the mat and breathe. What are the chances that I come back for the second class? Pretty low, right? Even though I've heard that Pilates can do so much for me, even if I have a friend who Pilates completely changed. She wasn't as heavy as me, or those others must have been more calm and able to lie here and pay attention better than I can. My goal is 50 pounds, I need to move, I don't have time for the breathing part.

The goal of weight loss just interfered with my ability to pay attention and discover something new. It just gave me a reason to quit this path before I ever got down it far enough to learn much, if anything at all. It just refuted all the benefits Pilates claims to offer, because instead of participating in the activity, I tuned out and decided this would never get me to that goal. That example is an easy one to see the flawed logic but what about the strong body who wants to get even stronger. The athlete who wants to improve their performance. How on earth is this form of exercise that doesn't hurt possibly lead to a greater physical achievement?

Well, those bodies will never know. Because they will never participate in the activity. They will not understand the benefits because even if they allow it several lessons, their mindset is still focused on their expectations and their goals. And the biggest truth about the endless list of benefits achieved from Pilates, is not one of them will occur if you are not present mentally to participate in the activity and experience of Pilates. Therein, all the benefits lie, and all the goals you can imagine can be achieved.

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