The regulars in my Pilates classes often seem to wonder ‘what the hell are we doing now?’, but that is what they love. Lately I have introduced the concept of intention into classes. So at the beginning of a class whilst eyes are shut and they’re getting into their bodies, I ask them ‘Why are you here?’ This seemingly simple question gets a fair few confused looks on faces, with the obvious answer being ‘to do Pilates’. So we search why they are here to do Pilates. It may not be something you’ve actually thought about before, but everybody has different reasons why they come to a class, and there is no right or wrong answer.
- alleviate pain in a certain area
- strengthen certain muscles
- gain mobility
- improve posture
- prevent injuries
- simply get some peace away from the house
And there are many more possible reasons. They will then state their intention in their head 3 times in the present tense. E.g. I am pain free or I am out of the house in peace. And that is it! On with the class.
It’s as simple as your thoughts effect everything, including yourself. Lynne McTaggart writes ‘A sizeable body of research exploring nature of consciousness, carried on for more than 30 years in prestigious scientific institutions around the world, shows that thoughts are capable of affecting everything from the simplest machines to the most complex living beings…Every thought we have is a tangible energy with the power to transform. A thought is not only a thing; a thought is a thing that influences other things.’ 
This means that setting your intention at the beginning of the class can have the power of influencing it/you, even if it is later forgotten about. Saying it in the present tense tricks the brain into thinking it has already happened, therefore having an even greater effect on your workout. Stating, for example ‘my shoulder is pain free, my shoulder is pain free, my shoulder is pain free’, scientifically increases the chances of it being just that.
So in your next class set your intention. Now that is just a Pilates class. Think of how you can apply this to the rest of your life and the benefits you could gain! I’ll leave you with that thought. If you would like to delve a little further into the subject I highly recommend the book below, by Lynne McTaggart.