In an article by Dr. John Cluitt, he describes the role of core strength in maintaining a stable and healthy body. “One of the most recent developments in physical therapy is the emphasis on core strengthening and stability. The core of your body is like the foundation of your house. If you were to build your house on a weak foundation, you could risk damage and collapse. Similarly, bodies with a weak core are susceptible to acute injury and chronic overuse syndromes.”
Pilates is one of the best exercise methods for increasing core strength which helps protect, support, and the entire body. Every movement is based upon the concept that the body’s center of gravity-the powerhouse or “central core” exerts power and control outward into the larger muscles of the body providing stability and protection as we move. The deep core muscles activated during the movements of the outer muscles anchor us by providing support with a stable, yet pliable core. Sometimes the larger muscle exercises fail to engage these very important core muscles…no engagement means no strength-building. Form, therefore, is a key component to any core work. Becoming aware of and maintaining proper alignment, using the breath to flow with precision through each movement activates the stabilizing, supporting, and protecting CORE. This allows for safer, more effective movements, keeping the body from injury or wear and tear due to overuse.
Our lives also require core strength in order to stay protected, supported, and effective. The core of our lives must be a heart focused
on Christ. In Hebrew, the words for heart and center are often used interchangeably. The heart is the innermost part of the
physical and spiritual body. All energy we have initiates from our heart, our core and flows outward into the actions
and decisions we make each day. Christ is our CORE, providing stability and support we need to build our temples and
our lives around Him.
Just as we must engage our core for Pilates by maintaining proper alignment, working with breath to flow with precision
through the movements, we also engage Christ as our CORE. We do this by becoming AWARE of Him through His Word, maintain our ALIGNMENT with His plans for us, and using the BREATH of His Holy Spirit to flow with precision as we so that He, through His word can be active in the building of our houses-the temples for the Holy Spirit. Physical exercise does not require activation
of the core, but without it, there is no support or protection for the body and the movements are inefficient and often wasted.
This is also true for our life. We can move through it without engaging Christ as our core, but without Him at the center, we usually find ourselves with no support or protection as we move through life increasing our chance for injury, or at the very least wearing ourselves out because of our ineffective and inefficient movements.
God tells us in his word how to have a heart or a core for Christ. Proverbs 6 states that if we listen to His instructions and fasten them to our hearts, “When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; when you awake, they will speak to you. For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the corrections of discipline are the way to life.” In this passage, the words
“walk” and “guide” refer to our continuous behavior being governed by a strait. Similarly, the word “way” comes from a word meaning “to string a bow” and the word “life” here comes from a word meaning-reviving. In other words, by having God’s words of instruction bound to our core, deep in our hearts, our daily exercise of selfwill be straitened and our way, decisive and sure, like the bow- our lives
revived, or “rehabilitated”-restored to a useful, effective, efficient life.