Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about balance. As one of the core Pilates Movement Principles, the concept of “balance” is central focus in my personal and teaching Pilates practice. But I’ve been thinking of balance on a broader scale – balance in life and spirit as well as in the body.
We practice Pilates with the intention of finding balance of fine-tuned physical strength, flexibility, control and flowing motion. We seek to be more aware of and to improve our somatic structure through a variety of intentional movements, as well as in complete stillness. Many of us also seek to find and/or maintain our emotional, spiritual, and life equilibrium as well.
Pilates is a way to maintain and return to our grounded center. A centered, strong, resilient body helps us maintain balance in all other aspects of our lives. The body is rarely, if ever, in homeostasis. So there’s always a focus in our practice, to return to our center. The maxim “healthy body = healthy mind” rings a strong tone of truth. This practice requires a balance of intellect and physicality, with a holistic engagement of the mind, body, breath, and spirit to be present and aware in each aspect of our lives.
While we strive to be present and balanced, life is rarely, if ever, in true homeostasis. Instead, we must look at the sum and total of our lives to take inventory of balance or imbalance and use that (re)view to make adjustments for our overall health and wealth of spirit. Does that mean more work? More play? More travel? More home-time? More discipline? More leeway? More sleep? More waking hours?
We can only decide and act once we’ve taken that careful examination of the bigger picture. In the grand scheme, everything evens out, if we stay the current course. If not, we can choose to take action and make an adjustment.
It’s amazing that in this life there are no limits to the actions that can be taken to discover or maintain balance as desired. It’s a beautiful journey – one that we can make with our Pilates practice as a guide, a refuge, or a centering point.