How can pilates improve travel? Pilates can help when preparing for travel as it gives you some very practical tools and techniques to get you through your journey.
When it comes to planning an adventure, there are several kinds of organisers. At one end of the spectrum there’s the light packer, who naively believes that one pair of socks will last them an entire week. On the other end, there’s the person sitting on their overflowing suitcase with six evening dresses packed for an overnight retreat! Scattered along the scale are the procrastinators and the people with check-lists arranged months in advance. By the time you’ve got travel insurance, the right currency and the backs packed, there’s usually something you’ve forgotten… Something that even the most meticulous organisers often forget to prepare is themselves.
Both the mind and the body can suffer from the effects of travel. This can be the result of being squashed in a metal box for 12 hours or walking long distances while sight-seeing in a new city.
7 Ways Pilates Improves Travel
Whether you’re participating in a yoga, barre, reformer or floor pilates class, ‘engage your core muscles’ is an inescapable phrase. When you’re stuck in an upright position on an airplane, bus or car for hours on end, strong core muscles ensure that you have the potential to maintain good posture.
Sure, everybody already knows how to breathe, but not many people do it consciously. Training in breathing can help with travel. How many people do you know that know what lateral breathing is? How about active breathing or set patterns? These particular techniques can help you be more mindful and control certain body responses through the breath.
Pilates teaches the importance of breathing patterns. For example, ‘out in exertion and in on relaxation,’can not only help people to exercise correctly but also to find peace in stressful situations. When you’re travelling this can be a very handy technique to use! Think about those tense travel moments…. running for the train… arguing with the taxi driver in a language you only know three words of… struggling to navigate unfamiliar streets…. Breathing properly allows you to relax and make it through any distress unscathed!
Pilates and yoga train your mind to remain aware of your current experiences. This heightens your ability to accept rather than avoid the present moment. It also doesn’t leave any room for your mind to wander off into the past or future. Mindfulness improves travel experiences as it teaches people how to live fully in each moment without interference from thoughts of the past or the future. You’ll be more present in each moment as you explore the world in which we live!
When you only have 24 hours to see as much of a city as you can, there is no doubt you will be physically exhausted by the time the sun is sinking below the horizon. Whether you are walking from Buda to Pest, ice-skating in Switzerland or climbing 1710 steps to the top floor of the Eiffel Tower, a deep stretch at the end of the day will no doubt alleviate your aching muscles. Lots of walking can affect the muscles in your feet. Lots of steps can affect your glutes. Wearing a backpack can really affect your back and neck. These are all parts of the joys of travel, however really allowing your body to rest and restore is crucial for enjoyment. Yoga classes teach the most effective stretches to not only reduce pain in your muscles, but improve flexibility, increase your range of motion and relax. Just what you need after a long day of sight-seeing.
5.Connecting your mind and body
Pilates teaches you to pay attention to your core strength by matching movement with breath. This acts as a mental challenge where you need to focus. This mind-body connection becomes important in everyday movement as well as in other workout routines, such as barre classes. When you’re navigating difficult situations or just exploring the local markets, you’ll be more aware of your body, where you are and will be able to react to situations with ease.
6.Being at home in your body
When you wake up on the other side of the world to your family, it’s easy to be struck by a bout of homesickness. Feeling at home in your body can be a reminder that ‘you are you’ no matter the country your feet are planted in. Knowing how to stretch and activate your muscles and practicing mindfulness can be really grounding, no matter where you are. Feeling good about yourself is the key to feeling at home in your own body. Pilates and yoga teach you how to connect your mind and your body in any unfamiliar situation, whether you’re riding a bike in Amsterdam or snowboarding in Japan.
Every adventure begins with the right attitude. Surrounding yourself with people you love and participating in activities that make you feel good are only going to help prioritise your happiness. Being happy and positive are exactly what you want when you are globe-trotting.
Whether you’re a one-sock or six-dresses kind of packer, procrastinator or scrupulous organiser, the next time you’re getting ready to travel, remember that the most important thing to prepare is YOURSELF.