I recently started doing Pilates again. The instructor on the DVD tells me to keep my leg muscles loose as I do seemingly impossible leg stretches. Yeah, right! 🙂 But, I notice that when I relax and keep my muscles loose, I can stretch more and the whole practice is much more enjoyable. When I’m tense (which seems to be my natural reaction when I exercise), it feels like I’m fighting my own body and just making it harder on myself.
Then, I noticed as I walk a couple miles to/from work that my entire body – back, legs, neck, fists – often tenses up when I’m stressed or in a hurry. So, I tried bringing the “stay loose” concept there. When I purposefully concentrate on keeping my legs, back, neck, and arms loose, I’m still walking quickly, but my body is much more relaxed and it signals to my mind to relax. I’m expending less energy and I can feel my body working well – and the walk is much more enjoyable.
The other day I was feeling stressed about a busy day ahead. I suddenly wondered if I could translate this “stay loose” concept to how I approach my day. Could I relax and just ease into my day, taking one thing at a time? Could I just ease into my day, bringing all of who God made me to be into my day – moving forward, but in a more relaxed way? Can I settle into trusting Him that He’s prepared me for this day- no matter what it brings? And is it possible that God just reached me through Pilates? Why, yes, He sure did!