The physical body is the one we can all see and the body that we all agonize over. How you look is of the utmost importance in todays world. Hence the drive to exercise relentlessly.The adverts are out there to coerce you into thinking that all is NOT well with your body.
I made the wrong choice when I decided to become a Pilates instructor- I should have sold diet pills or the latest ab exerciser. I would have made millions. But that, for me and many of you, would have been living a lie .
In order to make permanent changes to our lives and our physical bodies, we have to look at the whole person. What IS driving your client to come to class seven days a week? Why do they use ALL the springs on the reformer? What is behind this need to essentially beat themselves up?
This is where you,as an instructor can help your client calm down and respect their physical body and honor who and what they are, in the body they inhabit right now.You will be able to hand them the tools that may help them come to their own conclusions. You are the authority when it comes to the program design, so give them what they need and not what they want.
But just what IS the physical/etheric body? As with all the different bodies- this one is made up of energy. The energy at this level is the densest and has the slowest vibration. The one we can actually see. It is the vehicle that holds all the other subtle bodies- the emotional, mental and spiritual bodies. And the connection between all of these bodies is the etheric body.
This body projects slightly away from the physical body. I look at the etheric body as being the fascia- the connective tissue that holds it all together. So you cannot really separate your emotions from your workout. You bring them with you!
What we need to understand is how to facilitate a balancing of these subtle bodies to create that stillness and calm within.You know how you feel at the end of a good workout. You feel energised yet peaceful,bright yet relaxed,strong and flexible. Your instructor has balanced you whether you realise it or not. But how did they do it?
Breathing plays a big part in all of this.Maybe that is why Joseph Pilates said it was the most important principle. Much can be accomplished with deep breathing, rthymic breathing and percussive breathing, any type of breathing, but be aware of HOW you’re breathing. Small shallow, chest breaths or deep, to the end of your lungs breaths?
The fast shallow breath, in and out of the mouth is a stress breath and will keep you at the level of fight or flight. The slower, deeper breath is the rest and digest breath that will clear your mind, focus you and calm you enough to be able to see the bigger picture of your life. It can create the stillness within while you exercise with concentration, quality, precision and total body integration. It wil create the space for your physical body to move and your etheric body to connect to the life force of the universe and maybe in that one hour session- you will find some of the answers you are seeking.