Pilates is considered a Mindbody experience/exercise. I get it...in my BODY. And my mind is connected and controls my body. Duh. But let's just say, I've been a slave to by body lately. With this training regimen and constantly working with people on their bodies, I have developed a lot of tightness. Being in school, or even living in NYC, can cause a lot of stress. My body is carrying that stress around. And I am UNCOMFORTABLE. The lower back, my neck & shoulder, etc... This makes doing Pilates much more difficult. I can't execute the basic exercises the way I want, let alone the more advanced fun stuff I've been looking forward to learning. It's frustrating and depressing.
Recently, a client told me about her latest meditation experience. Full disclosure, I've never tried meditation. I've always thought I'd be bored or fall asleep or both. But this sounded different. I was intrigued and a little scared.
It was sensory deprivation floating. Stay with me here.
I got naked & floated in a tank in very thick salt water, like the dead sea. There was no smell or sound. Lights were optional and I turned them off. The water was body temperature and so comforting. It felt like the softest, yet most supportive mattress was under me. After laying there for a few minutes, I started to inventory my body from the toes to my ears, gently asking it to release. Some places required a second or third visit. But eventually, I succumbed to the silence, the stillness. I let go and time slipped away with no stimulation or distractions to stop it. And the nothingness engulfed me in the most delightful way.
Originally, I thought I'd fidget and get bored, maybe last about 10 minutes. Before I knew it, an hour had passed. Light spa-like music started to play to indicate my session was over. I turned on the light and prepared to leave the tank. And I was alert! I washed my hair and scrubbed my head. Damn, it felt so good. Did my scalp always feel like this? Was there canabis or LSD in that water? I don't know. But I know I was feeling and seeing in a different way. I was calm, alert, focused, centered in mind and body.
Getting dressed and preparing to leave, I stopped in the lobby. It was Sunday. Was I in a rush? Not today. I sat. I read a BOOK for a half hour. I focused and breathed and took my time. There were no distractions. Walking out in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, (my stomping grounds with a major EX) I noticed my back didn't hurt. My neck was perfectly fine. And my shoulder moved freely. Damn, I felt GOOD!
Was it like a massage? No. This was more holistic and not targeted to my tight areas. It felt like nothing happening allowed everything to happen, falling into place where they were meant to be.
It's Thursday as I write this. My mind and body are still feeling strong and centered. I've done 5 hours of Pilates so far this week and it's been great! Everything is so accessible. Being balanced is making me more efficient! Unfortunately, I slowly notice my movement patterns bringing those strains and tight muscles back to their old habits. But 4 days later, I'm still focused. I'm slowly trying to remove my distractions. Those alerts on my phone have been turned off. I don't need to know overtime someone "likes" my Facebook or Instagram posts. I also don't need to have 4 news alerts letting me know when something awful has happened on our planet. I will see those things when I'm ready to focus on them.
Cheers to letting go and finding focus!