The “Miracle” Exercise
If you are searching for a “miracle” exercise, this is for you.
The experts in specific professions always get questions about their favorite and most effective products. For example, hairdressers are asked about the best treatment for silky hair, and dermatologists are asked about the best cream for wrinkles. I always get asked about the best workout to shape the body. I always say the best exercise is the one that fits you the best: the one you stick to and never quit. However, there is one specific exercise format that I, as CEO of my body, mind, and soul, prefer over others. I am sure you know all the benefits of moving our bodies while performing any type of exercise or sport. But you have never heard of the exercise benefit I talk about in this article. I love all kinds of physical activities, but my life has become extremely busy, and therefore my time has become even more valuable. And because of that, I prefer to do things “two-in-one,” or even better, “three-in-one,” including shaping and taking care of my body. So recently, I have been choosing a physical activity that shapes my body, mind, and soul all at the same time.
Though I was a personal trainer for 20 years, training and shaping my clients’ bodies in the gyms (yes, at Gold’s Gym in Venice, California, the Mecca of Bodybuilding), I am now a Pilates disciple. Because of the Pilates principle of shaping the body from the inside out and involving the mind and spirit, I believe it is a perfect exercise tool for shaping and transforming anyone into CEO of her body, mind, and soul.
You see, performing Pilates movements requires all of you: your body (muscles), concentration (mind), and breath (spirit).
Please know that I am not trying to dictate or proclaim that Pilates is the ONLY exercise that gets your body into shape, because there are many other ways to form and create a fit and healthy body. However, if you are still searching for a form that truly satisfies you, your physique, and your soul, please keep reading.
Why do I think Pilates is the right exercise for me and all CEOs of their bodies, minds, and souls?
From the body and muscles aspect:
Pilates is considered a resistance exercise. I am sure you already know the benefits of any resistance workout: muscle building, bone strengthening which lowers risk of injury, decreasing abdominal fat (visceral fat is associated with an increased risk of chronic diseases, including heart disease, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer), and improving heart health. However, there is something extra Pilates provides: greater mobility, flexibility, and body alignment. While you are building your beautiful and lean muscles, you are also increasing the mobility of your joints and flexibility of your muscles. With Pilates, you will get to work your muscles from every single angle and engage every single fiber. (Talk about CEO productivity).
From the mind aspect:
Because of the slow tempo of all the moves, the Pilates workout requires you to give 100% of your attention. If you want to know why being mindfully present is crucial when you work out, please read my post, Why Being Present is Crucial to Losing Weight. By focusing and being truly present, you work harder without adding more weight or extra hours to your workout routines. Because of your presence of mind, Pilates provides the extra mind benefit: boosting your CEO self-esteem and cognitive function. Performing the exercises with the mindset of ‘Exquisite Precision’ will bring your confidence to the next level: it is the level of Elegance and Power combined.
From the spirit aspect:
This third aspect is the main reason why I fell in love with Pilates, and why I think Pilates is the right exercise form for shaping our bodies. I actually started Pilates with the ‘home’ version, which is Mat Pilates. There is really nothing you need for this form of exercise except the mat, so there is no excuse not to exercise. Since some moves and exercises are simple, I started to play with the idea of performing them with MY personal highest precision: the pointed toes, the flexed muscles, the mind presence, the breathing. I added a new principle to my workouts, which comes from loving and respecting my body: never compromise my form. Since there are not many things in our lives we can control, I really enjoy how I can control the simple movements and coordinate with my breathing. It is not easy to move your body with perfect form, but I am not talking about obsession or unhealthy perfection. I am talking about the desire to love your body and move it with Exquisite control.
I knew my body loved this form of working out, but I also learned that my soul loved it even more. One day, after a truly powerful and soulful workout, I started crying uncontrollably; my body felt so good (sweaty and stinky), my soul was so happy — I felt pure Bliss. I felt so much love pouring over my body from the outside, and so much joy radiating from the inside. I could not stop crying; I counted it as an extra calorie-burning bonus.
Since that day, I have been experiencing these Blissful sweaty cries often. Because of these experiences, I know and believe that taking care of our bodies is one of the ways in which we can find our way HOME.
You see, HOME is a place called Completion: it is a place where there is nothing else that needs to be done, or that we need. During Pilates, moves that are simple enough to be performed with your own perfection, but with resistance challenging enough to build your muscles, you create Complete Awareness — not just of your body, but also through Knowing yourself on a deeper level. Together, you experience the Feeling of joy, a.k.a. my Blissful Cry.
When I said that Pilates builds muscles from the inside out, I meant from deep, deep inside: from your deepest/most inner muscle, which is the heart. Once you start building your “loving muscle”/heart, don’t be surprised when you, too, start experiencing those Blissful cries or laughs, because that’s what we all do when we arrive HOME.
Pilates is like an artist. Your body is a canvas, the specific exercises are the paintbrushes, and your mind creates the painting. When your mind is connected with your Higher Self, or Soul, through breathing, together they create a Masterpiece. Van Gogh once said,
“Try to understand the last word of what the great artists, the serious masters, say in their masterpieces; there will be God in it.”
Therefore, I truly believe that behind any “genius” discovery, or any beautiful art like music, sculptures, or performances, is God’s touch.
Connect your physical body with your mind and soul and let the beautiful creation of your body begin.
If you have any questions or comments about this post or pilates, email me here: email@example.com
I’d love to talk to all of you and hear your thoughts!