If you are new to Pilates, and even if you aren’t, it can seem overwhelming to keep up! Our bodies are complex creations and, as such, require us to do specific things in order to get the greatest benefit out of the Pilates movements. While there are MANY aspects of Pilates that can improve our practice of it, if you really want to ‘do good’ Pilates—there are 3 Fundamental requirements:
- Proper Alignment- allows for us to move effectively and efficiently and protect ourselves from injury.
- Powerhouse Breathing- The Pilates breath is a lateral breathing technique that engages the muscles of the powerhouse which includes the abdominals, glutes and pelvic floor muscles. This serves to stabilize and strengthen the body.
- Personal Awareness- Becoming aware of your body- it’s alignment, which muscles you are recruiting for each exercise, and how you feel when you are moving, will actually train you to maintain form, use the proper muscles, and- most importantly, make adjustments to more or less intensity based on how you feel.
Sounds simple doesn’t it? The list is short, bus as with most things of importance, simplicity does not equal easy. These elements of Pilates must be diligently and continually practiced in order to keep the body moving rightly and they all impact each other. But, when we focus on these things, we will be doing good work and doing it in proper form.
But what about our ‘faith form’? What is required of us to practice proper form as we become ‘faith fit’?
In Micah 6:8 we are given the answer: What is required of us? To ‘seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.’ While there are myriad ways to worship, to come to God, to practice and demonstrate our faith, there are REALLY only 3 things required:
1)Justice 2) Mercy 3)Walk Humbly
In our quest for a healthy faith, alignment is important. The word “justice” implies determination and rightful place. We must be determined to do what is right in God’s sight. For that, we must walk humbly- to continue to move close to Him so that we can be properly aligned to his will. When we do this, we will become aware of our need for mercy and His call upon us to show mercy to others.
It is these three things, when continually practiced, simple though complex, that are required and help us to become whole, well, and faithfully fit.