Writing on the mat, day 5

Each day, I’m writing for 10 minutes before and after my Pilates session, then recording my observations here.  Scroll down to read from the beginning, or click here to find out more about the project.

Day 5 – Before Pilates

My writing before Pilates expressed my feeling of ‘instability’ in more ways than one.  First, my emotional state – I mentioned in an earlier post that I’ve been going through a difficult time lately – and this has resulted in my moods bouncing around,

Like one of those demonstrations of chaos theory that you see on science programmes

I also noticed that, although I felt good after exercise, the effect didn’t take long to wear off.  And here’s a confession:  I’ve started doing a fitness DVD alongside my Pilates.  It’s pretty intense, and whilst it’s all well and good to have somebody barking at you from the TV screen (Kick yourself in the arse! Knee yourself in the nose!), it doesn’t exactly promote a sense of inner balance and well being.  My Pilates, I decided, would be restorative.

After Pilates

For once, I’m pleased to say that my predictions were correct; after Pilates I wrote:

I have been trying to work muscles that the DVD doesn’t work, stretch muscles that the DVD works hard, and trying to make my movements vaguely symmetrical.  Unlike when I do the DVD workout, I didn’t get annoyed with my body – I felt like I was working for it, rather than against it.

And what about my emotional stability?  As I go on with this project, I notice that I am becoming more and more inclined to take messages from my body and translate my physical needs to my emotional ones:

Sometimes you put yourself through necessary difficulties but it’s important to counterbalance them in some way – not to stop their effectiveness but to stop them from taking over and causing damage. 

I do the DVD workout because I want to be fit, but I do Pilates too because I don’t want to be drained, off-balance and miserable.

Similarly, I am putting myself through some pretty huge emotional overhaul at the moment to make my life better in the long run, but I write because I know I need to pay attention and take care of those emotions.

Writing does for my mind what Pilates does for my body – connects me, slows me down, and puts me in control.


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