During this crazy time we are traversing through I find solace in knowing others who came before us faced adversity and came through it with strength and wisdom.
As we know Joseph Pilates was way ahead of his time when it came to his teachings. Not only the movements but greatly the philosophy behind them. I was amazed as I reread this letter Joe wrote in September 1939 how it pertains not only to the times our world was going through then but inline with our current crisis. And sadly stunned at how little things have changed when it comes to the knowledge of general health.
Joe's letter to his clients as at the beginning of WWII as Germany invaded Poland.
"The lack of knowledge of general health on the people's part is largely responsible for world conditions today: responsible for combat, discouragement, crime, and premature death, because a healthy body - which most do not have - makes for a clean and healthy mind. It gives strength and decision of character and a directness of purpose, a refinement, purity, goodness, honor, justice and mortality. The mind, when housed within a healthy body, possesses a glorious sense of power. This world of ours is in turmoil and no one is positive of its outcome, and it is now more than ever before, more practicable and sensible, to be in a perfect state of health, both in body and in mind, in order to more successfully confront the problems continually arising"
Thanks to Gary Calderone "The Pilates path to health"
and The Pilates Center, Boulder Co for sharing this letter
Lets start with a few small steps and then we'll build on them over the coming weeks.
One of the simplest is to take time and breath. Oh but we all breath or we would not be alive, yes we do but do we do it efficiently and fully? Many of us are very shallow breathers not getting those full deep breaths in that really oxygenate our tissue, rid the body of unneeded toxins along with expanding and stretching our muscle, connective tissue and ultimately the bones housed within. So for the next week take a little time each day to pause and concentrate on taking four to five full deep breaths.
If your familiar with music notes start with a whole note of breath start pulling the breath in through the nose, down the back of the throat down the back imagine it like a waterfall flowing down the back, pause at the bottom and then begin your exhale feeling and following the breath back up and out. Think of it like a symphony of music breathing in 1...2...3...4... pause and out 1....2....3.....4....breathing in and feeling the expansion into the lungs and down the back 1....2....3.....4..... and exhaling and feeling everything soften and relax 1....2.....3....4....... This not only is going to nourish your body but move your internal organs, help pump the heart and reset the nervous system. Great to do anytime the day I love doing it especially upon waking and prior to bed but also anytime you are feeling scattered, stressed or anxious.
Next get up and Move. Stretch, do your own short exercise program, join an online community, take a class, have your favorite instructor create a home program for you. One of the best and available to most of us in some fashion is to get outside for a walk. Not only are you moving but you're outside in nature, fresh air, sunlight (vitamin D) and out from in front of the tv or computer (these are other things to limit they can put us in a stress state and deplete our health).
Make sure to get in adequate pure water intake daily and eat whole foods that nourish. Ditch the processed foods there is no life in these and full of unhealthy ingredients. Great rule of thumb if shopping in grocery store shop in the outer edges of the store away from the isles other then for staple items. Get to know your local farmers or health food grocers. Better yet start planning to grow a little of your own start small maybe a few good herbs in pots in the house. As we come out of winter you can consider planting a few items in pots if you are short on space or beginning with a small garden space it doesn't take much room to grow some basics like green leafy veggies, tomatoes even cucumbers you can actually grow in pots and trellis up a stake. And again this gets us outside in nature and with our hands in the dirt.
These are just a few basics to get started with, start small add one action item until it becomes a habit and then move on to another. If we try to take on everything at once we can get overwhelmed which can cause stress and also paralyze us that we end up doing nothing. So pick one of these and make a goal to do it daily over the next week. Take inventory before you begin and check back in after a week to notice any changes you can see in your body and mind. Remember don't just survive but THRIVE you were amazingly created for greatness and given a very remarkable Body and Mind support it and watch it come to life.
Coming next week we'll start our weekly series Optimizing our Wellness. Part one we'll dive into some supportive strategies to get you started in the Morning. Make sure your subscribed to our page to receive these in your inbox they'll be filled with healthful tips and videos to support your wellness journey. If you know a friend that can benefit we would consider it an honor for you to share with them. Another way to increase our health is to have others to support us, hold us accountable and build us up.
Know that you are Loved and Blessed.