Jay Grimes, a Pilates elder and my teacher of “the Work,” often says, “Keep your eyes open, mouth shut, and the body will tell you everything you need to know, the body doesn’t lie, people do, the body doesn’t!”
I was recently in LA to perform my second assessment for the program “The Work.” My second assessment was on the mat portion of the Pilates system. I needed to perform the “mat repertoire” in 30 minutes showing the ‘2 way stretch’, ‘my seat connection,’ ‘my back connection,’ in addition to maintaining a flow and a rhythm that allows the movement to integrate. If done well, someone watching would be able to see the wholeness of the work; instead of seeing someone performing many separate exercises. Jay, wants us to use and be able to show how the previous exercise helps us lengthen and deepen into the following exercise and so forth. The back, therefore, would ideally continue to open, lengthen, and find more space and as a result the practitioner, would find more and more freedom in their body.
After completing my assessment I realized I was not as prepared as I should have been. Going into my assessment, I felt a bit anxious and I was ready to get it over with! Reflecting back on my performance I realize that I was not integrating myself fully in the movement, instead, my mind was too busy thinking of the next exercise and how many reps etc I had already completed. I was also too concentrated on hitting certain “ta da” points in my exercises even if that meant I had to sometimes ‘throw’ myself into an exercise just to be sure I hit the ‘ta da!’ Unfortunately, as I now realize, my ‘ta da’s’ were not coming from an integrated and supported place that would reflect what I needed to be showing for my Pilates assessment. Debbie, my teacher, who assessed me saw what I felt and asked me, “Brooke, do you think you could have been more ready for the assessment?” My face turned bright red as I looked right back at her and said “YES!”
Although embarrassed and upset at myself for not committing myself more fully to my work, I know that it is okay for me to ‘fail’ sometimes. Like I was staying in my last post… “Can’t appreciate the sunshine if you never see the rain.”:) I have committed to being more aware in my own practice and thinking of the whole instead of the ‘pieces’ even if that means I do not hit the smaller “ta da’s”; the whole practice should be one big bang!
I know I can go through the movements of Pilates…
Just as I am sure many of us, are talented at going through the motions of our day to day stuff! However, can we also truly stay integrated and ‘squeeze the juice out’ of what and how we do things in our life and show up fully? Maybe even with a BOOM! 🙂
That said, I hope you can all take a deep breath and get your juices flowing with whatever you are up to.