Body lessons from Pilates (contrology)


image

Photocredits from NYC dance project

Recently I started with a Pilates Kinetic precision course. For some of you it might be strange because many Christians are scared of even trying the exercise because it is often combined with idolatrous philosophies by the people presenting it. Pilates as an exercise and physical training method, was born out of need.  Joseph Pilates was born in 1880 and was a sickly child that determined to make himself strong.  He lived as a German immigrant in the UK. He started body building and he looked so good that he was used as a model for anatomical drawings in his teen years.  Quoting from http;//pilatesofrye.com/wounded-warriors-pilates-for-veteran-soldiers/: ‘However, not all people know that when Joseph developed his now popular regimen, he was in an internment camp in Great Britain as a German citizen. Rather than be bitter about his experience during the war-torn years, Joseph worked diligently as a fitness teacher and nurse. During his time in internment, he developed and refined his methods, calling his system ‘Contrology’. As wounded soldiers arrived from battle lines, he applied his methods to strengthening and reconditioning them.
Today many projects exist which use Pilates to help veterans with injuries – including many who suffered amputation of one or more limbs.’

After the war he returned to Germany and worked with Rudolp Laban who created the basic system of dance notation that is still used today. Quoting from the page Pilates Central: “Pilates called his technique ‘contrology’ – only later did it become known by his own surname.  He conceived it as a mental as well as physical conditioning in which individuals could work their bodies to their full potential.  In explaining Contrology’s guiding principle, he liked to quote Schiller: ‘It is the mind itself which builds the body’.

The reason I took the time to give a summary of the history, is to help people realize that it has good roots and all exercises are specifically there to develop conscious mind-body control of our muscles. We as sons of the most High are here to redeem all things unto Him.

As believers we can learn so much from ‘contrology’ if we apply it to the body of Christ.  If I can summarize from what I have learned already, it is to remind the muscles that they belong to a head and that they have a specific job to do.  If every muscle doesn’t do its job properly, the other muscles around them take over and eventually our joints and back starts to take unnecessarily wear and tear.

In the body of Christ we have a Head. The Head knows all the muscles are there, but it seems that sometimes the muscles forget their place and function and that they belong to the head. This pulls the whole body out of alignment. So to summarize all in a few words: ‘contrology’ is about restoring the mind-body connection to bring all the parts back into alignment.’

We sometimes forget to Whom we belong. When we forget that, we start to forget our function and either overcompensate because we want to proof that we are competent, or we give up. In the process our whole life is pulled out of alignment. Unfortunately it is not just our life that is pulled off balance, but that of the whole body around us.  If we overcompensate we tend to become control freaks and want to make other people’s choices for them. We often don’t even realize that we are doing it.  On the other hand, if we give up we force other parts of the body to overcompensate which causes misalignment.

When there is an injury to a part of the body, the other parts take over the function of that part until it recovers. There are 2 ways in which that happens as well.  Life is a choice.  Death is our default without Yeshua. The one way is to close in and protect the hurting part and take over it’s job – that is going with the default.  The other way is to open up, and work from the core or stabilizer muscles to gently restore that member to full function again. If there is nerve damage however the message don’t get through to the brain that a part of the body is in jeopardy because the connection to the head and the rest of the body has been cut off. Isolation from the body causes gangrene and causes the members to fall off witout the other members even noticing until they have to do the work without that member. Much like leprosy.

To give you an example.  If one has a neck injury, the automatic response to ‘protect’ the neck is to pull up your shoulders to the ears, which causes misalignment all the way down. That causes neck and back spasms and eventually lower back pain because one tends to sit forward with one’s shoulders.  This also causes one to look more ‘abusable’ to the world outside.  The moment you choose life by relaxing the shoulders and start to sit and walk upright one does not look ‘abusable’ anymore and the neck muscles can start to relax.

When every muscle and member is awakened to its function and does its job properly the body comes into alignment and every member can grow into its full potential.  When all the members are awakened by choosing life, and an injury occur they will automatically do what they are supposed to do to gently bring the broken member to its full potential again. 

Lets ask the Father of Life to give us the Spirit of wisdom to awaken the body of Christ so she can come into alignment again so she can dance again.

Liefhê na ñ ruimte van genade en wees


Wanneer daar iemand in jou lewe is wat jou liefhet verby jou moeg, nukke, fiemies, frustrasie plekke en selfsugtige natuur is jy geseënd. Dis iemand wat jou verby al daai minder mooi skanse na jou ware identiteit trek. Iemand wat jou uitdaag dat die skanse en wegstoot maniere nie jy is nie. Dit maak jou vry om hul ook so lief te hê, want wanneer ons mense agter die skanse intrek en hul bly, weet ons hul het regtig lief.

Die eerste Een wat ons so lief gehad het en vir ewig sal hê, is Yeshua. Omdat hy ons liefhet kan ons mekaar verby die skanse liefhê. Dan kan ons mekaar sien met ander oë, want ons het eerstens na onsself leer kyk met ander oë.

image
Foto kom met toestemming van:

DIY Upcycled Broken Pot Ideas

Jy is meer as jou skanse, nukke en frustrasie wat uit pyn en seer kom wat jy partykeer nie eers jou vinger op kan lê. Jy is meer as die gebroke kleipot wat party dae voel hoop is ver en lig en liefde is nie vir jou. Sy Lig maak jou ñ unieke lamp wat ñ stukkie van Sy lewe teken op ñ manier wat niemand anders kan. Dit is nou as jy Hom eerstens binne-in verby die skanse in jou donker innooi. Die ding om te onthou is dat jy net die binnekant van die pot sien. Baie soos die agterkant van ñ Persiese tapyt of tapisserie. Dis deurmekaar en maak meeste van die tyd nie sin. Hy alleen sien die hele prentjie. Die mense om jou sien ñ stukkie. Soos jy Hom sien en ken in die dieptes van jou seerkry en skaamte so begin las hy jou gebroke kleipot en maak ñ nuwe skepsel.

image

Hy gebruik mense om te help las waar ander gebreek het. Partykeer stuur hy mense met wie jou lewe intiem verweef word vir ñ seisoen. ń Eggenoot wat self nog sy donker dele het, maar wat saam soek na die Lig. ń Vriend of vriendin wat nader is as ñ broer of suster. Deur hulle kry ons ñ kykie van wie Hy is en hoe ons deur Sy oë lyk. Deur hulle leer ons ook anders kyk na mense. By tye help ons hulle ook om weer Sy lig te vind wanneer hulle net die donker raaksien. Dis in daai tye wat ons mekaar kan liefhê na ñ ruimte van genade en wees.

Liggaam lesse van ñ gebreekte toon


image

Eergister het ek my ‘groot’ klein toontjie (hy is my derde grootse toon op my voet daarom haak hy gereeld) gebreek. Hy het aan ñ wasgoedmandjie gehaak wat op die verkeerde plek gestaan het terwyl ek met spoed vorentoe gegaan het.

Wat leer ek. Moenie wasgoed mandjies in nou gangetjies neersit nie....

Wanneer die liggaam met spoed vorentoe gaan en een deel haak vas, breek daai deel dan lei die hele liggaam. Veral dan nou as dit die ‘veronderstel kleinste anderster’ toon aan die linker voet is wat eintlik my dominante been ook is.  Nou kom ek agter hoeveel treë ek eerste met my linker been gee sonder dat ek dit eers oplet aangesien ek nie op hom kon trap en nogsteeds sukkel.

Werk dit so in die liggaam van Christus ook? Beweeg ons partykeer te haastig vorentoe terwyl die ‘anderster dele’ vashaak en seerkry? Voel ons dit wanneer dit gebeur of gaan ons maar net aan asof niks gebeur het nie? Versorg ons die lid wat seergekry het of hoop ons hy kom maar op sy eie reg terwyl ons gevoelloos aan beweeg? Die antwoorde van die vrae bepaal of die liggaam gesond is of melaatsheid het?

Melaatsheid is ñ siekte wat die senuwee punte laat doodgaan. Dis hoekom hulle ledemate in die ou dae afgevrot het, want hulle het nie gevoel as hulle ñ toon stamp of ñ vinger sny nie. Dit is dan nie dadelik skoongemaak en versorg nie en dan het infeksie ñ bose kringloop begin. In Dr Paul Brand en Phillip Yancey se boek ‘The gift of pain’ maak hulle pragtige vergelykings met die liggaam van Christus gebaseer op navorsing wat Dr Brand onder die melaatse gemeenskappe in Indië gedoen het.

Voel ons die pyn van die anderster dele wat sukkel om so vinnig te beweeg? Luister ons na die senuwees van die liggaam (die herders) wat sien wanneer lede swaarkry of laat ons hulle ook doodgaan met die hoop dat die anderster dele sommer sal afval?

Mag ons met genade, liefde en waarheid aandag gee aan die pyne in die liggaam en dit sien as waarskuwings om stadiger en met meer wysheid te beweeg.

The crucial necessity of a slow-strike or time-out


image

This past week I started to work 4 mornings per week. The two little ones I am working with have a few issues that need daily therapy. One is 4 with low muscle tone, weak balance and weak eye sight. He is a professional  ‘why-er’. For nearly every instruction I give him or thing that I do he will ask why. He is also very strong willed, which means that he is challenging me on almost all requests and instructions I give him. When I stick to my boundaries then he starts throwing a tantrum. The consequences follow every time and he is accepting my boundaries better every day. The other little one is 7 and battles with low muscle tone, balance and her milestones is about three years behind. She also challenges my boundaries at times, and wants to be with me even in her break times. For both of them it is a challenge to focus on their work independently for more than two minutes.

By the fourth afternoon when I got home I realized, my space if favor and grace is not there anymore. Neither for myself or for my family. It had been replaced with irritation, frustration and impatience. For me that is sure signs that I need some time-out.

Yesterday morning when my husband and children left for school I spent the 2 hours on my guitar and keyboard and sitting infront of the fire place. The Father restored to me my space of grace again.

A moms time-out, a slow strike or whatever you may call it, is as important as breathing. We need to make time to breath among all the demands of being a wife and mother and whatever other roles we fulfill, without feeling guilty about it. If we choose not to take time-out for our heart building things, our home becomes a place of frustration and irritation that no one wants to be.

May we all find the courage to take that time to be restored to rest and favour in our own hearts in the midst of the demands we face.

Mom’s boundary waltz


image

When a young girl gets married she has to share everything that has been hers only, for years. Even her body belongs to her husband as his body is now hers. If she was single for a few years as an adult before she got married this boundary shifting and rebuilding process can become challenging. If her husband is gentle and kind and loves her with his life, it makes this shifting-rebuilding process easy.

From this union the first baby/babies arrive(s). Her baby shares her body more intimately than anyone else ever will. This small human being is dependant for its very existence on her for the first 40 weeks of its life.

When the baby is born and the mother is privileged to breastfeed, her body becomes a place of warmth, safety, belonging and comfort. The small hands often fumbles with the other breast while the baby is drinking on the first one. It is a warm, cherished, safe place where one indeed learns to trust.

When the second baby arrives this whole process starts over, only she has to share her body now with three people. My oldest two still breastfed for a year after their younger sibling was born. It was an absolute privilege but extremely challenging. Since my three was born consecutively in 2006, 2007 and 2008, my dance was and still is very condenced and too fast for me at times.

Private moments for most people dissapear into oblivion when one becomes a mom. A private bath or toilet visit is a privileged luxury. When my youngest was about two years old I started noticing that I became angry with them for barging into the toilet or bathroom when I wanted to have a private moment. This emotion was strange and freeing at the same time. I realized I had to put healthy boundaries around myself. I have an oldest covenant child that was 13 when my husband and I got married as well. He is a special needs child that is visually and intellectually different. With the dissapearance of boundaries he also started to just walk into the room. Because he is different he could not see much and often did not realize what really happened before I chased him out.

About two years ago (after realizing that I am on the verge of emotional and physical breakdown), I started to rebuild boundaries around my privacy. It really is like a waltz, because setting boundaries is often seen by those around you as rejection.

It is still a challenge and a bedroom door that can lock helps greatly. Knocking on their doors and respecting their boundaries when they are in the bathroom, toilet or their own room, is part of the rebuilding process. It takes time. The line between shaming them and teaching them that they have overstepped, is thin. It sometimes seems like performing a complicated waltz on a tight rope. If grace and love is the safety net when someone falls off the rope, it makes it easier to help them deal with the emotion of rejection. In this process they learn that respecting someone’s private space means embracing their own and the other’s being.

May each of us find the rhythm of our own unique boundary waltz within our families.

When the numbness of survival turns to feeling


image

Survival in a broken world tends to push me into numbness, auto-pilot mode – don’t let them see you’re breaking inside, hide your true feelings for the sake of your family and your own survival when some fire of life has schorched all feeling to lifeless blackness.

At some stage the build up of steam of hidden feelings starts to cause cracks in the thick, numb skin of survival. It starts like hair line cracks in a dam wall and can still be controlled with the polyfiller of daily activity. These cracks however find their way to the very foundation of being where no makeshift patch-up technique will suffice or even nearly reach.

One day one of the cracks run through to the foundation and starts leaking there where we cannot patch up. At this stage it surfuces in frustration, anger, desperation (even though you are not willing to acknowledge it yet), hopelessness, depression and an intense need to run far away and hide your head in the sand.

Then the wall starts cracking and one starts to feel and remember your heart. You find yourself at a place where it is difficult to speak about anything truly important to you without crying, only to wonder afterwards: “Where did that come from?”

A picture, movie scene, familiar smells and places start to trigger emotions deeply hidden for years. This is the point where your children look when are you going to start to cry in familiar scenes in movies.

Its a painfull journey back to transparency and openness so we can be the mirror in which the world sees hope, love and life without pretense or hidden motives.

May we be willing to embark on our own journeys of becoming a transparent real picture of love and hope. His mercies are truly new when each day begins at dusk. His day starts when the light is at its darkest to our vision. May that knowing surety in His love carry us through the darkest hours before dawn.

Extra eyes for Harp


image

When Harp went to Cape Town a few weeks ago, someone baught him his first walking stick. This will help him ‘see’ better when he goes for a walk. He is very proud of his stick and already has more confidence when walking.

We are still trusting Yeshua for a miracle for His vision in His time and place. Until then we will thank Him for the extra 11 years of sight that was added on the gloomy prognosis at the age of 8 months old.