Writing on the mat, day 2

Thank you so much to all the lovely Pilates instructors who have already answered my survey – it is open until the end of this week, so you can still take part by clicking here.  The more observant among you will have noticed I am a little behind on my posts already, woops!  Here are my thoughts from day 2 of ‘Writing on the mat’.

Day 2 – Before Pilates

Today was another slow start, and my writing reflect two main concerns: first, that I had been relying too much on other people for my emotional wellbeing, and that I needed “strength” in order to take more personal responsibility:

I should be able to rely on myself.  I should be able to bear my own weight – to be in company without leaning on people… perhaps I will work on that physically in an attempt to translate it to my mind.

Secondly, I anticipated a ‘slump’ later on in the day:

I know that I will feel better immediately after exercise but I don’t know how to make it last and get me through the day.

Though I had previously feared being ‘too strong’ and controlling of myself, I now feared that I was unable to maintain this strength.

After Pilates

How easy it is to lose control!

How easy it is to lose control!

How easy it is to lose control! Not in some kind of battle, but just through lack of focus.  As soon as I let my mind wander, my movements became sloppy. I began slumping, easing off – leaning. When I was really concentrating, things were more difficult, but also more worthwhile.  There is no point in mindless movement – it could even cause damage… I need to keep guiding my mind back to the task in hand, keep making little corrections and adjustments…

Once again, my body seemed to act as a metaphor, teaching me lessons about emotional life.  I went on to write:

I need to do the mental equivalent of engaging my core.

That is, to interrupt lazy, unhelpful thought patterns just as I would interrupt lazy, unhelpful movements – reconnect, re-engage, regain control.  I decided to try physically engaging my core throughout the day, whenever I found myself ‘slumping’ mentally (results in Day 3’s post).

I also returned to that fear of giving too much power to my controlling tendencies.  However – even relatively free movements require control:

Even when ‘rolling like a ball’, I have to stop myself from going sideways or losing my shape. I need to balance control with movement.

Absolute control = stillness.  Controlled movement = progress.

Hmm… here’s to progress!

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