I've been listening to Oprah and Eckhart Tolle's XM Radio class on his book, The New Earth. They also talk about another book of his, The Power of Now, and how it is to "live in the now" and "live in the moment".
How often do you make a point live in the moment, and being present in the task at hand? Autopilot is a strong habit to break, but it can be done for even just one hour a day with pilates.
Pilates really is being in the moment. You must first commit to a class or private session, set aside just one hour of your day to living in the moment and being present in your mind and body.
Later in class, its important that you stay focused. It might be hard at first, but you realize that if you're not fully present throughout every moment of pilates, your form will slip (perhaps you're neck will tire quickly) or you'll have to ask your teacher to repeat what was just said.
The breathing in pilates is a big part of what helps to keep you in the moment. The technique of breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth is very grounding and centering. Throughout a whole hour, your breath can carry you through flowing movements with energy and grace. Your breath will quiet your mind and center your thoughts on the moment.
The mantra of pilates, "Connect into your center" is literally, "Be in your body, feel this moment, now". Each and every exercise originates by a connection into your center, and in some exercises, you should look right into your center. After you hear your instructor tell you to connect into your center enough times, you'll start to notice that the phrase is about more than just pulling your belly button into your spine.
In pilates, its the combination of deep breathing, focusing the mind's eye on each movement of the class, and connecting into your center all bring you right into the state of being in the moment.
Not to mention that pilates is highly enjoyable! Camaraderie with fellow class mates and your teacher, noticing a vase of flowers on the desk, smelling the great hand soap in the bathroom- these all contribute to living in the moment.
If you're like me and you find it hard to truly live in each moment of your day, try pilates and see if you can start with just this one hour. With the help of your instructor to keep you focused and cue your breathing properly, you might just find this first step of being in the moment fun and fulfilling!
You can check out Oprah and Eckhart Tolle's discussions on his books and living in the moment on Oprah's website: