I bet if Mr. Pilates knew that his method was affecting lives in ways other than body stretching, strengthening and correcting, he’d be thrilled. A personal experience once again showed me how the other two aspects of his work, the mental and spiritual, could be just as effective in one’s pursuit of total health.
Time after time, I’d come home from the studio and be greeted by my beautiful cat, Annie. The strength of her loud meows never revealed her mature age of seventeen. I always had to quickly set down my Pilates day and give her all, and I mean all of my attention; otherwise the neighbors would think something horrible was going on. Sadly, a month ago, my girl went home to kitty heaven, and I do hope that this panther-looking, independent yet needy feline had a wonderful life with me.
But then my home became so quiet, so still, and gaps in normalcy, left me feeling lost – like hearing her demanding voice in my head, only to return home, and be abruptly reminded she was gone. Or finishing my food shopping with the thought of bringing her home a treat. With loss, however, comes the opportunity to tune in, quiet the mind and so support a heavy heart. My Pilates gratitude couldn’t have been more evident when the “acutely missing her” phase hit me. I intuitively transferred this loss into my own Pilates practice and completely focused on my breath. My workouts became deeper, simpler and the healing quality that I regularly speak about during lessons, began to manifest in myself.
Though the sting of missing my beautiful girl has abated somewhat, the loftiness of Mr. Pilates’ words, “My method is the complete coordination of the body, mind and spirit,” couldn’t be more appropriate, and my own experience leaves me with no doubt as to the true power of Pilates.