Thursday, July 25, 2013

Change starts from within

A few people that I deeply admire independently challenged me to take more time for myself. Sure, some of them meant "relax more, work less" but I think ultimately what they were encouraging me to do was engage in a process of self-discovery in a new and different way. Now, when approached with this challenge, to one individual I responded, "Well, I'm regularly taking class, meditating, reading, and engaging in a self-practice of physical care." She nodded and shrugged that off as if to say, "Yes, you're doing work. And good work. But you can do more, or do different, and do better." I was reminded of my first year seminar undergraduate professor - she gave me a C on a paper. "Jess, yes, this is a good paper. But for you, it's a C paper. You can do better. Make it an A paper." I went back to work. And I got an A. I'll never forget that lesson.

So the challenge was drawn. One of my friends was enrolling in a Power Pilates Mat Certification. I had other friends who had also complete this particular certification and still more who were members of the Pilates Method Alliance. I've practiced Pilates and know that this movement method is a powerful tool for healing and strengthening and developing the body. Okay, I'm up for a challenge. I'm in.

And it's so true!

Initially, I was actually more tired. Change is hard. But, in my first few weeks of concentrated, regular practice, I noticed a difference in my dancing and in my core strength. My center line was more defined. I had a stronger relationship to my body and my center. I was more grounded in myself.

If you tilt your head to the right, the picture is more clear. I'm not sure why the website is uploading it like this. Sorry! 

By the third week, my lower back hurt less, despite all of the traveling I was doing. I attribute this to the spine work focus of Pilates. I used to HATE "Rolling Like a Ball" (an element in the practice). Now that I understand it, I LOVE "Rolling Like a Ball."

After two months, my body is changing and I love it! I understand my dance techniques more deeply. And after completing Power Pilates Mat I & II Certifications, I have a deeper understanding of my own body. I have a deeper understanding of movement pedagogy. (Yes, I am more clear on the exercises of Pilates, but I'm also more clear on the HOW and the WHY of the exercises and how to talk about them.) This, in turn, has also translated to my non-Pilates classes. And I'm super excited to continue developing and exploring this "whole new body." It's been difficult, but I've been working in a new, and different way. It's added to what I already knew and enhanced my practices. Thanks for the challenge! Time for class and rehearsal...

If you tilt your head to the right, the picture is more clear. I'm not sure why the website is uploading it like this. Sorry! 

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