Susan: Healing my Body with Pilates

Unstiffen Your Supple Body


Unstiffen your supple body, unchatter your quiet mind, unfreeze your fiery heart. ~Celeste West

This quote hangs on a little card at my desk and I read it almost every day.   I understand it in this way: my body facilitates my living life mindfully and with love - a worthy daily reminder.  Because my body has changed so much since my surgery we (my body and I) have been on a journey of discovery these days.  Here is what I have uncovered:

Supple is an interesting word.  Webster's defines it this way:

  • able to bend or twist easily; easy and fluent without stiffness or awkwardness. 

My body(we) lived up to that definition prior to we struggle with it to say the least.  Bending and twisting and moving with ease and flow just does not happen. My body is constantly stiff, contracted and awkward in movement.  Most of this is due to unrelenting spasms in my hip flexors, quads, calves and feet.  And, of course the stiffness causes pain in my lower back. misery. 

Open the door to Pilates and I go from misery to relief. I am struck by the genius of Joe and his understanding of the power of lengthening - the relief that comes physically and emotionally with elongation.  It is almost as if "I get out of my own way" and allow...yes allow is the distinctive body to reach for what it needs.  Rather than grasping and pushing and driving my body, I allow it to relax with intention.  You might call it "not fighting the river".  This is work for me, folks!  I am a driver and a pusher.  I want to get it done, done now and done well.  And I want to be the best.  Sound familiar to anyone else?  Allowing and lengthening is harder work than pushing and driving.  And if there is contraction to be had, it must be distinctive and pointed and balanced with the lengthening.   The Pilates work that we have all embarked upon whether we have an injury or not is mentally, emotionally and physically challenging in a unique way.

Pilates gives me ( body and soul) the chance to feel supremely better; more open to life; more vital and less anxious.  This is healing.  I can respond to life.    And..

Unchatter my quiet mind and

Unfreeze my fiery heart!

God's blessings to you in 2016!  With mindfulness and love,