Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Inch by Inch.

I took a deep breath and listend to the old brags of my heart. I am. I am. I am. - Sylvia Plath

The other day at Sugar Dance Studio during the flexibility class, I heard the instructor say Breathe. We often forget to breathe. Forget to breathe? Of course not. If I forgot to breathe wouldn't I suffocate? I breathe all day long. We all breathe all day long. I thought of her words even after class. Later that night I looked down, there was a faded word tattooed on my foot, breathe.I forgot I even had it. I forgot when I got it. I am pretty sure however, the reasons were the same as her message. Who knew that a pole dance studio would lead me to rethink my methods of being.

We do breathe all day long. Without thought. Mindlessly. Our breaths, our very life force is as rapid as the way we live. After all we are a nation of instant gratification, there is no time to listen and pay attention to the old brags of our heart. There is no time to just be. Much of my time has been spent at the gym, pushing dumbbells, or running on concrete. Ad while there is nothing wrong with that, not only did I forget to breathe, I ignored the fact that my muscles also needed to do so. Stretching was never included, the workout had to be done. Get it over with so I could go do some other mindless activity as long as there was no empty space. Perhaps, for many of us that is a bit scary.

Besides pole dancing, I have tried flexibility this year at Sugar Dance Studio. I have run 60k marathons, destination – finish line , a medal (which I have since forgotten where I placed it) and an extremely tense and rigid mind and body. Watching my instructor and the way she seems to be in complete unison with her own body, I realize that I have done more harm than good. Not only have I not listened to my breath to bring me to a deeper relaxed state, I never listened to a body that was just tired of pounding on pavements without giving breath and blood flow to the muscles that were performing the activity.

One's emotional state can be seen in their flexibility. The more relaxed you are, the more you can open yourself up. The more you can open yourself up in stretching, the more you open up emotionally. Like life it is a cycle. Living mindlessly many of us skip the conception and go straight to birth with our running shoes on. I am by far one of the least flexible member of my class. Years spent running so I didn't have to sit and just be, while respecting my body have made sure of that. But, with the help of the instructors of Sugar Dance Studio and some patience, inch by inch I am getting looser, a bit more relaxed. I am trying to open myself up more in mind, body and spirit.
Maria Vinciguerra

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