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.
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!