The mind and body are one. They work together as a whole instead of separate beings. It’s easy to think of them apart rather than together. When you connect the mind and the body you truly begin to feel. The feeling of not apologizing. The feeling of how unique you truly are.
Our bodies tell a story.
Even with practicing Pilates for 6 years I continue to make new discoveries in my body’s story. I have minor scoliosis. The curvature was never to the point where I needed surgery or a brace. If you were to look at me you wouldn’t even notice it. And yet, I found myself making excuses for my body because of it. I would even blame it when moving to explain why I did something the way I did.
When I was younger, I danced from first grade all through high school. I also played the clarinet in school and marching band. After college I began running and doing triathlons. Now, I stick with walking, strength training, and Pilates. We all participate in different activities at a young age. You choose to continue to participate in activities as you get older. These movements have an effect on your body.
In Pilates, the journey you take brings you on the path of discovery. Discovering how your body moves the way it does. How one side is easier to twist than the other one. These discoveries are what makes your body unique. It’s who you are. I can’t change my scoliosis and I can’t cure it, but I continue to learn my body’s story and what it makes it different from others.
Just recently I learned why my rib cage can feel tight and restricted. The reason is more mental than it is physical. The need for me to do things well and perfectly creates tension in my body. When I experience this, I repeat “I am enough.” and feel a release in my rib cage to take a deep breath. This discovery happened during Pilates when connecting my mind and body together.
How often have you said ‘I wish this or that’?
Instead turn it into ‘I walk or look this way and I accept it.’ The cool thing about stories is you can change them. The plot can make a different turn at any moment. The story can end happily or sad. I remember when I was young and wearing a bikini and someone commented “Rachel has a pooch” meaning my stomach wasn’t flat. Did it really matter? No, but I carried that thought with me for many years and felt uncomfortable showing my stomach because of that thought. I would continue to wish for a flat stomach until I realized it wasn’t my true thought.
When it’s your body and your story you have the ability to change the characters. You take control of the story and rewrite it. Do you continue to live with that thought the rest of your life? Not if you write the story differently! Your body’s story doesn’t have to consume your life. It’s a part of you and it won’t leave but how you treat it is up to you.
You are not your thoughts.
Someone once told me if he doesn’t feel pain he doesn’t feel alive. His story shows pain as the antagonist. The annoying sibling who won’t go away. The devil on the shoulder reminding you of bad things. What if you let go of pain and let go of the people that don’t serve you?
The thought “I feel pain therefore I’m alive” is not your own thought. It’s an outside thought just like “I need a flat stomach”. Release that thought and see how much better you feel! The same is true for a thought like “I am not good enough.” What evidence supports this? It’s not your true thought.
Pilates allows you to make the changes inside and to rewrite your story on the outside. Together we create that happy ending and release the antagonists from your life. Start your new narrative today, one step at a time, and you’ll change your story. Begin with these exercises and when you need more, schedule your own private session.