Fighting anxiety and depression… with Pilates!

Pilates for depression

Fighting anxiety and depression… with Pilates!

Pilates for depression


It is no longer a secret for anyone, the regular practice of a sport has positive effects on the mind. Numerous studies have shown that physical activity leads to decreased levels of anxiety and stress, and is therefore beneficial in cases of depression. Did you know that Pilates is particularly suitable for combating mental disorders of this type? Let’s look into this!

Depression and anguish, a vicious circle

When one is anxious or depressed, sometimes the slightest action or decision-making becomes an insurmountable obstacle. You feel like you’re paralyzed, having no desire or motivation for anything. The very nature of this kind of mental disorder convinces you that there is no future, that nothing positive can happen to you. As a result, it is extremely difficult to get into an activity whose goal is to change your mind. However, it is essential to inject doses of happiness into your daily life, and this includes physical activity.

The benefits of sport

It is often said that during a sports activity (and several hours after), the brain releases endorphins, sometimes called “happiness hormones” or “natural mood boosters”. It causes a feeling of pleasure, even euphoria, and therefore helps to combat anxiety, stress and depression. However, you can’t imagine that you only have to run for 30 minutes for the depression to take off. Sport can be considered as a part of a comprehensive life management approach, perhaps as an ally to psychotherapy.

A therapy combining communication and sport

For several years, notably in Europe and the USA, psychiatrists and psychologists have been offering their patients who are depressed or burnt-out a therapy based on two axes: sessions based on communication and sessions devoted to physical exercise. And one of the most used sports in this setting is… Pilates!

Why choose Pilates as “therapy”?

Pilates set in a studio setting in particular (where you work out with specialised apparatus) offers a comprehensive workout. It mobilizes the whole body and requires you to focus entirely on the workout. Romana Kryzanowska summarized Pilates in three words: Stretch, Strength and Control and the most important aspect was the control as that involved the mind and body working in conjunction with each other. Therefore, in Pilates you are left with no choice but to be fully in the present moment. When you practice Pilates, you totally leave out your negative thoughts. You are in action, away from the anguish and dark ideas that you turn and return incessantly in your head.

A Pilates session offers many benefits whilst giving you a safe workout in a framed space to externalize stress, frustration or anger. The use of springs offers an excellent outlet for this, and as you improve your practice and advance in the workout, Pilates will provide a more effective cardiovascular workout. Through Pilates you will be able to vent all the negative emotions that run through you. At the end of the sessions, you will feel a healthy feeling of having worked out: your body will be relaxed and your mind will be soothed.

Often, depression and anxiety are associated with an idea of “weakness” and lead to a loss of self-esteem. You feel like you’re not good at anything, that you’re invisible or incapable. There’s nothing better than Pilates to improve that. By practising Pilates, you will bring back your love for movement and working out. By doing so, you will improve your self-confidence and self-esteem. The practice of a movement as comprehensive as Pilates also encourages a better lifestyle, healthier eating and self-care. This creates a particularly pleasant and positive sense of completeness.

The value of personalized coaching

If you feel concerned about these issues and want to start a sports activity to get by, you should consider joining a studio which offers private Pilates sessions. The right studio should be open to all from children to the elderly, men and women of any strength and any shape and size, whilst having the ability to be fully adaptable to the level and needs of each individual. A professional studio should offer you to undergo an induction programme whereby you take an initial health assessment and a package of Private Pilates sessions to introduce you to the method and the equipment at your own pace.

Wherever you practice, make sure you are working out in a fully equipped Pilates studio with comprehensively trained Pilates teachers as they will have the appropriate knowledge and experience necessary to hold a well-balanced and thought-out workout.  A suitable studio should welcome you in a warm, motivating and pleasant atmosphere offering you a safe space to workout. The follow-up is totally individualized. There’s no way you’re going to get in a group session if you don’t want to. The courses are progressive and adaptable. The main goal? To offer you a fun workout that allows you to tone up, help you let off steam and recharge!




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