The “Magnificent Seven” are a series of Pilates movements which help us find and strengthen our core- the powerhouse and foundation of the body. Because the movements are fundamentally simple, they allow us to become familiar with the Pilates principles and concepts- the first one is AWARENESS.
According to an article on WebMD, body awareness is the number one benefit of Pilates practice. The attention required to perform the movements changes our awareness of our bodies which, in turn, affects our overall body awareness in daily life. Becoming aware of our body and its alignments (or misalignements) is our impetus for change. Just as the “Magnificent Seven” Pilates moves help us to become aware of our core in its current state in order to strengthen it, we also have been given Seven Spiritual Virtues or “exercises” to help us identify and strengthen our core in CHRIST. The first of these spiritual movements is FAITH. Awareness of our faith and where our faith is centered, is the key to finding our spiritual core, engaging this powerhouse of faith to direct and support our lives.
What is faith? According to Hebrews, chapter 11, “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Faith is substance…Although we typically think of substance as a tangible possession; the Greek word used here means “foundation, a confidence, a firm trust.”
Our faith, in essence, is our foundation, where our firm trust lies. To have faith in God means that we are anchored, supported by this powerhouse, trusting in Him to build a dwelling place upon this firm foundation-our Core in Christ. The building has begun; our faith allows it to continue, supported, protected, and secure.
Pilates movements help us to become aware of our physical core, to bring it into alignment, and strengthen it in order to support and anchor us through our daily activities. The first step in Pilates is awareness; the first step in faith is awareness.
How firm is this faith, this substance of things not seen? How strong is this centering core? Does our center lie in the everlasting strength, the foundation of Christ in us? Or, does our center lie in the non-permanent things of this world? Is our foundation strong enough to hold us upright, to balance us, to keep us in alignment despite the ever-changing imbalances and insecurities of life?
Perhaps you are completely aware of the confident assurance of your foundation in Christ. Your faith, your substance, firmly grounded with your trust of God. Once you have identified Christ as your center, you can boldly continue your practice moving through your life incorporating spiritual virtues and movements to strengthen your faith.
But if you are not sure, if awareness is new to you, if you have found that you are centered on something not of your faith, take heart. Just as becoming aware of your body’s misalignments allows you to practice movements that realign you to your center, practicing the spiritual virtues, principles, will help you realign to Christ as your core. Then, we begin building our foundation of faith, firm trust in God as we look toward future movements, future principles—next on our journey? HOPE- a visualization of things yet to come.