If you regularly do Pilates, you know that there is a lot to think about when doing each exercise. You have to keep your shoulders back and down. You need to remain in a neutral spine without cramming your back into the mat. Keep your neck relaxed. Pull that belly button to your spine. Engage the kegel. Oh, yes, and don’t forget to breath–into the sides of your rib cage.

It’s a lot to focus on for what could be a basic crunch, but there is a method to the madness. The purpose of taking time every day or every week to focus on aligning your body and working your muscles evenly helps create a balanced body. The hope is that when you focus on all these points in class, you’ll start thinking about your posture in daily life. Before you know it, you won’t have to think about pulling your belly button to your spine. You’ll just do it.

The goal is to think about your body, use your mind to control the muscles, and learn to have a well balanced body. You wind up in control of your motions during all daily activities. It’s really a fabulous method.