In Pilates as in life, I believe it is good to have goals. I have been practicing Pilates for more than half a decade so you may wonder what goals could I still have? Actually, just the other day, I hit another milestone and accomplished a goal. A movement that had been challenging me was one I could do with ease and grace. That is the beauty of Pilates – each of us will find challenges in different areas and have aspects to work on perfecting.
I had a student this morning tell me that the spring weight did not feel challenging to her. I countered by challenging her to slow down, perfect her movements and not let the carriage bang on the return. It is not always about the weight, in fact precision could be your challenge. Not banging the carriage gave her a new focus and new challenge!
My overall goal lately in Pilates is to incorporate more grace into my movements. Sometimes in the beginning of learning or tackling a movement – we must power through it. We may not move as fluidly. We use force more than grace to accomplish the movement. Lately, I have been trying to fine tune and make my movements more graceful, fluid, and controlled. With grace comes increased strength. With grace comes an elegance and an improved movement pattern.
This is a goal that can easily carry over to my life as well. How do I approach difficult situations? How do I handle unreasonable people? How do I handle everyday rudeness? I hope that I choose grace! I may not be able to control the actions of others but I can control my actions. I can also control my reputation and my standing in my community by being graceful not ugly or vengeful.
Grace often requires more thought and a slowing down versus a quick reaction. Grace requires control. Grace in life mirrors the needs in Pilates – control, strength, and thoughtfulness. Whether in Pilates or life – grace is a good goal to have. Grace is a presence and I believe sets one above the petty or rude people in the world. Which would you rather be remembered for: Carrying yourself gracefully and tall or creating a scene with your words or actions? I’ll choose grace!