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What is stress doing to us?

Updated: Oct 31, 2022

Stress is the body's reaction to feeling threatened or under pressure. It's very common, can be motivating to help us achieve things in our daily life, and can help us meet the demands of home, work and family life. But too much stress can affect our mood, our body and our relationships especially when it feels out of our control. It can make us feel anxious and irritable, and affect our self-esteem. Experiencing a lot of stress over a long period of time can also lead to a feeling of physical, mental and emotional exhaustion, often called burnout.

Long term stress can lead to inflammation in the, or increased activity of the immune system, or immune suppression as its new “normal.” Inflammation and immune suppression are unpredictable and can manifest in many parts of our body, with different consequences. It can affect our gut and digestive health, insulin resistance, muscle weakness, joint pain and many more.

Pilates can be incredibly powerful in providing a place for the body to relax, rejuvenate and release tension. It also provides a space for the mind to focus on the present moment, leaving worries at the door.

During the month of September I ran with the theme of Stress. You may have noticed that during class this month we specifically looked at the psoas muscle. Often referred to as the 'fight or flight' muscle. Nurturing and freeing the psoas can bring about emotional release. When you experience mental or emotional stress, the psoas will respond by tightening. Examining the psoas' relationship with the nervous system is crucial to understanding how this psycho-emotional influence works.

As with every class we worked on the breath connecting with our diaphragm, core strengthening exercises, the pelvic floor all which have fascial connections with the vital psoas muscle. We did Pilates specific exercises for the Psoas, when to stretch and when to strengthen. Balance exercise to create stability in the psoas and we will end the month pulling all this together. Working more on The Pilates principle, breath. oxygenated blood will trigger the brain to calm down creating a physiological response in the body that naturally decreases our stress and anxiety.

What can you do to help Stress?

  • Take 5 minutes to sit calmly and focus on your natural breath.

  • Eat well, there is a vicious circle between gut health and stress.

  • Exercise, exercise releases feel good hormones to make us feel well.

  • Manage your time, including planning your exercise and time for yourself.

  • Journal things you are grateful for at the start or end of the day.

  • Try to see the positive in situations.

  • Take time out in nature.

  • Declutter your space and mind.

  • Get enough sleep.

  • Leave work at work.

  • Call a friend.

  • Find something fun that you enjoy to do.

  • You could join my 4 week stress free Pilates Course starting in November.


Join me on my next 4 week block of Stress Free Pilates.

Week 1-4 Will begin with a 5 minute Meditation

Week 1 - Lateral breathing, core strengthening exercises, the pelvic floor and exercises.

Week 2 - Pilates specific exercises for the Psoas, when to stretch and when to strengthen.

Week 3 - Mindful movement, learning to body scan.

Week 4 - Stability and balance training, creating positive affirmations.

Date : We start on Saturday the 5th of November

Time : 10am - 11am

Venue : Chapelton Church Hall

Cost : £40

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