Fitness Focus: Prayer Position The purpose of this position in Pilates is to relax, release, and stretch the body. It is perfect as a warm-up at the beginning of a routine, a rest and focus break in the middle of your exercise, and as a cool down and centering for ending your Pilates session. Here are the steps for performing the Prayer Position:
- Begin kneeling on your mat with your bottom on your heels.
- With your toes together, open your knees to at least hip distance apart.
- Lean forward and drape your body over your thighs so that your forehead rests on the floor.
- Reach your arms out in front of you.
- Breathe deeply and relax. Release any tension you might be feeling in your back, neck, or hips. This exercise needs time to be effective. Try to elongate your breath- in for 5 counts/out for 5 counts- pulling your navel to your spine. Reach out through the fingertips, relax the neck.
Faith Focus: The Breath Prayer (Position) In her book, The Cup of Life, Joyce Rupp discusses the practice of Breath Prayer as a way to “become centered and focused on our inner world” by becoming attentive to our breathing. “Breathing attentively, at an easy, regular pace, slows us down and calms our rushing mind and body.” The posture of the body for breath prayer is not, in fact, the same as the Prayer position in fitness. Instead, when practicing Breath prayers, sit with your back straight, shoulders back and down, chin slightly nodded (bowed) toward the chest. Below I have attached a link to an article which describes the purpose of the Breath prayer and gives examples. I hope you find that it helps you to relax your mind opening it to the working of the Holy Spirit, release all fears and anxieties you might have to the Lord, and stretch out in faith as you center on God’s working in you.
“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.” Psalm 150: 6