Mondays I come into the studio at noon. And usually I can’t wait. The weekend’s activity always catches up with me by this point – I’m creaky, my lower back is starting to vocalize, I bend over and it sounds like I’m popping packing bubbles.
Some Mondays all it takes is easing into the idea of Pilates. A half dozen roll-back bars and I’m set. My teachers are always a step ahead, restraining me from leaping into Semi-Circle or Short-Spine, so I don’t overdo it.
Some Mondays like today, however, it’s all about re-inhabiting my body. This is where the mind-body thing becomes absolutely crystal clear for me. That after completing a series of careful exercises with an emphasis on awareness and breath, of using new cues to think about the movement differently, it dawns on me that I am back in my body – like I’ve been asleep or away or, more likely, in denial. The connection between feeling like I really live in in this body versus I’m just moving it around while my brain works on resolving some office politics or puzzling through my daughter’s latest developmental phase never fails to surprise me.
Today, however, it was all about doing Pilates with a head-cold on top of the cumulative effects of the weekend. It always seems to work out that when I’m like this, Gay is my teacher.
Gay makes me laugh, gives me new insight on how core muscles work together, and never fails to craft my work out for my body’s immediate concerns. Her first question is always: “what’s going on with you today?” And I can see as I struggle to explain without launching into my litany of injuries that she is truly paying attention.
So it’s not back on the rack, pick up where last we left it, with Gay – at least not on a creaky Monday. And especially not when forces conspire to leave me less than bright eyed and bushy tailed. Instead we picked an area of focus – the soaz muscle, which by the way is huge and deep, deep inside – wrapping from the sitz bones all the way up through the center of the upper abs.
Rather than do a full reformer work out, we cherry-picked our way through foot-work, the hundred, front rowing (which is where we really started to work on how the soaz can be engaged from the bottom up), long box (without actually using the straps), short box, stomach massage and elephant.
Somewhere a little later while approaching the push-through bar with this new concentration on the soaz, I clicked back into my body. Blink, blink – it’s me, Beth. Did you miss me?