*Note: This devotion was first shared in CORE2CROSS Pilates Session Spring 2012.
The first step in learning the Pilates Method is AWARENESS. The attention required to perform each movement improves our knowledge and understanding of how our body moves not just in exercise, but in daily life as well. Another part of this principle of awareness is learning about the alignment of our body, where it is now, and where it is intended to be. To discover more about your body, its proper alignment, and how to maintain it through the movements of exercise and life require study and practice. Working through the complex movements of Pilates help us to become aware of our CORE as our center, bring this center into proper alignment, and, in turn strengthen it in order to support and anchor us through our daily activities.
Awareness is also where we begin our journey to the CROSS…the CORE of our FAITH. Looking into Jesus’ journey on earth, we see he, too, began with AWARENESS. Listen to a reading from Luke:
Every year Jesus’ parents traveled to Jerusalem… When he was twelve years old, they went up as they always did for the Feast. When it was over and they left for home, the child Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents didn’t know it…The next day they found him in the Temple seated among the teachers, listening to them and asking questions.
We see, here, in Scripture, that Jesus begins to exercise His purpose here on earth by seeking knowledge and understanding. Now, of course, we know that He was already “aware” of His purpose from the very beginning, but notice something else here. Part of God’s plan was that Jesus would teach us all how to live and move on this earth. During the time of Jesus, people relied on the temple to connect them with God’s Word, for instructions on proper living, for wisdom, and for encouragement. At that time the temple WAS the CORE of their faith. Jesus’ actions demonstrate the necessity of starting at the CORE, God’s Word, to find understanding of our faith and God’s deep love for us. This ultimately will lead to strength as we move through this life in the purpose of our Lord.
What does awareness do for us?
In Pilates, awareness is the first step to understanding your own body. Once aware of where your body’s proper, intended alignment lies, you can begin to actively work to maintain this alignment by strengthening and engaging your core to support, protect, and hold you firmly in place-not just during exercise, but always.
Proverbs 3 gives a description of what awareness and understanding can do for our faith:
21 My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight, preserve sound judgment and discretion; 22 they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. 23 Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble. … 26 for the LORD will be at your side and will keep your foot from being snared.
Certainly, as Jesus entered His Way to the Cross, He knew of these scriptures. His awareness and understanding of them would preserve and protect Him, support Him, as He walked on His way in safety protected with the strong CORE of faith which would hold Him in alignment with God’s Will.
As we seek to become aware of our intended alignment through Pilates; we will learn to engage the CORE to hold us firmly in this place. By using our breath, we will continue to activate the CORE as we move, building strength, while supporting and protecting our bodies. My prayer is that, in doing so, we will keep in mind God’s intended alignment for us and engage His CORE to protect and support us as we move through each day.