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'Movement: moving more for our mental health' is the theme of Mental Health Awareness Week 2024.  We asked Joni Jacobs, Pilates teacher and owner of The Pilates Company in Worthing, how she brings mindful movement to her day...

Besides its body balancing and sculpting rewards, how does Pilates benefit our mental health?

The most wonderful thing about Pilates is that it involves slow, controlled movements while focusing on your breath, so you are giving yourself the gift of being present in the moment.  It enables you to find space in your mind - everything else can wait.  The second most wonderful thing about Pilates is the way you feel when you leave a class.  The rush of endorphins, combined with your relaxed state of being feels euphoric. Do you know how many times clients have said to me "I felt terrible before I came to class and now I feel amazing!"

What is your favourite Pilates exercise?

Most mornings I do a simple Pilates regime to wake up my body.  Depending how my body feels will determine which exercises I do.  'Spine Curls' give my back and spine a lovely massage.  I love the articulation of the spine with the feedback from the Pilates mat and that I can take this exercise from a gentle pelvic movement and layer in more complex and challenging levels to make it more intense according to my mood.  On the reformer (a Pilates machine with a sliding carriage equipped with resistance springs and straps, pictured) my favourite exercise is 'Pelvic Tilt'.

How else do you bring mindful movement to your day?

I'm lucky to live in Worthing by the sea and South Downs.  Carving out time to walk my dog helps me regularly switch off from whatever might be occupying my mind.  Simply noticing the inhalation and exhalation of your breath, together with the rise and fall of your chest, is a really great way to find a sense of connection between your body and mind.

Why did you choose our 'Hello Calm' moroccan rose fragrance as your studio scent?

I wanted a fragrance that would transport our clients and teachers to a place of instant calm and safety when they step through the studio door, whether they have come straight from the school drop off, a busy job or are dealing with other personal events.  'Hello Calm' was the perfect fit for us!


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