One of the things I enjoy most about the Pilates method is the principle of efficiency. Following the principles of proper alignment,focused muscle use , engaging the core and using the breath for relaxed movement allows the body to achieve a higher level of strengthening with lower levels of exertion. Less exertion means safer and protected movement. Practicing the Pilates principles and becoming proficient at them provides us with the ability to stretch AND strengthen the whole body in a matter of minutes instead of spending hours at the gym stretching, weight lifting, doing sit-ups and pushups, etc.
Joseph Pilates also wanted his students to practice transferral of Pilates efficiency into everyday
activities. He believed that by keeping centered and aligned, engaging the powerhouse regularly, and breathing to stay relaxed our daily lives would run more efficiently and we would have more energy to experience “more” of life.
More energy for life? Sign me up! Are you tired of busily going through your day, exhausted at the end of it, yet not really sure what you have accomplished? Me too! I want to know that the movements I make through the day are using my energy to the fullest, that my exerted effort is stabilized by my core and protected from injury, that they have a purpose to strengthen and stretch my life to the fullest.
While using Pilates principles help us to actively and efficiently move our physical bodies, we also need to be spiritually active and efficient. We do this by aligning ourselves with God’s will, engaging our core in Christ, and breathing in the Holy Spirit to effortlessly guide our movements. If we incorporate these principles into our lives, our exerted effort will be protected, our energy used to the fullest and our faith will be strengthened and stretched to reach the purpose God has for us.
Theologian William Ames once said, “In the exercise of God’s efficiency, the decree of God comes first. THIS manner of working is the most perfect of all.” In other words, God’s ways are
efficient, following them is a “perfect” manner of exerting our energies. Scripture speaks to this in Leviticus 26. “’If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, 4 I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees of the field their fruit.” If we
follow what God commands for us, he will provide what we need to bear good fruit in our lives. And remember the ultimate purpose for our bodies, to be the temple for the Holy Spirit? In Leviticus 26, verse 11, the Lord says that if we obey him, He will “put his dwelling place” among us.
When our bodies move efficiently, we are more productive while at the same time have a decreased chance of injury. If we are inefficient, we waste time, energy, and sometimes can wind up straining muscles, or otherwise injuring ourselves. The same is true for us spiritually. Moving
within God’s perfect efficient plan for us allows us to be more productive in our spiritual lives. The passage in Leviticus says that our “harvest will continue until planting” and that we will “live in safety.” Meaning that we will be continually productive from one season of our lives to the next and we will be protected from harm. Not following God’s efficient plan also has consequences. Scripture continues in Leviticus saying, “If you do not listen to me and if you reject my decrees…your strength will be spent in vain (our energy wasted) and I will lay waste your sanctuaries (our ‘temples’ will be vacant, lifeless). Without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to guide us, the verse goes on to say “[we] will fall…[we] will stumble.”
When we activate our CORE, the principles of efficiency can increase the productivity of our lives. Our physical movements are strong, protected, and sure. Likewise, as we seek to reap a harvest for the Lord, we breath in His Holy Spirit daily to engage our CORE in Christ and align ourselves to His perfect and efficient plan for us, I pray that our movements will be strong, protected, and sure..that our energy would be used to continue to work where we have been planted.