“Relaxation of the mind and body is an essential part of any Pilates session. Focusing on releasing areas of tension within the body before and during each exercise is important as it allows constructive change to occur. As you focus completely on your movements your mind feels relaxed and free from stress. It is vital to try to release unwanted tension from the body before and during the exercises. If you still hold tension, the overactive muscles that tend to dominate your movements will continue to do so. This is why you need to take time to release areas of tension at the start of your workouts. This can be done by taking a few moments going through the checklist for the relaxation position or any of the starting positions.”
-The Pilates Bible (Lynne Robinson, Lisa Bradshaw and Nathan Gardner)