Today’s COREconnection: 8/7/2010

FITNESS FOCUS:  Swan  This movement is one of the “counter stretches” in the Pilates exercise routine.  Many movements call for forward flexion, or rounding forward.  The swan reverses this by opening up and stretching the chest and other large muscles in the front of the body such as the abs, quads, and hips.  As with most of the other Pilates exercises, the Swan also strengthens the hamstrings, glutes, shoulders, and back. 

Steps for completing the Swan:

  • Lie on the mat face down. Press your hips bones into the mat, but lift your abdominals toward your spine.  Keeping your shoulders back and down and squeezing your shoulder blades together, bring your hands under your shoulders.  Lengthen through the crown of your head, gaze toward the floor.  Turn your toes out and place your heels together, keep big toes on the floor.   Inhale as you press your forearms and hands into the mat to support a long upward arc the upper body. (Remember to keep those shoulders back and down!)  Elbows are close to the body and stay on the mat until the very end of the lift.)  Feet, legs, and hips stay on the mat.  Pull the navel to spine to protect the lower back.  Exhale as you lower back to the floor.  Don’t let your abs relax, but keep them engaged.   Throughout the entire exercise: lengthen through the crown of the head, keep shoulders out of the ears, squeeze shoulder blades, engage abdominals, press hip bones into the floor, and keep feet on the floor.  Complete 5 repetitions then press back into prayer position.
  • FAITH FOCUS:  In our daily movements, the everyday events of our lives, we are often placed in situations that are “counter” to our stance in faith.  In order to make sure that we are prepared for these times, we need to practice disciplines that “counter” the worldly belief systems we encounter each day.  By strengthening our CORE in Christ with these spiritual counter stretches, we can keep a firm stance amid the world’s attempts to have us bend toward it.

    We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. (1 Corinthians 2: 12-13)

    When we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world. (1 Corinthians 11:32)

    (2 Corinthians 10: 3-6- The message) The world is unprincipled. It’s dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn’t fight fair. But we don’t live or fight our battles that way—never have and never will.  We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity.


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