“Stop wiggling” commands my Pilates instructor par excellence, Denise Miller, “or I will put you in a straight-jacket”. It didn’t seem to matter whether I was trying to lift my leg up to make leg circles or trying to align my spine on the mat or … my body simply wiggles trying to make the move.
The problem explained Denise is I am “reacting” with my more superficial muscles to lift my leg to make circles. And not “responding” using my deep muscles that run along my spinal column to initiate the movement to lift my leg to make circles. To find and access my deep muscles became my homework during class and when I walked and moved around doing things. After a few months I started to be able to access and initiate movement from my deep muscles. And I now wiggle much less.
How does this relate to fixing a reading problem of mine. I have always been a very slow reader. I cannot read a newspaper article going through once. I start, read a few sentences and have to stop because what I am reading doesn’t make sense. And I have to start over from the beginning and try to read the words over again, focusing word after word. Recently trying to analyze my dyslexia, I found two examples.
In one example I saw separate words that together hit me emotionally and make sense together. Oddly, when I read I just combine the separate words and dropped the rest — this is what happened when I looked at the “White Lion; Honey Pearl” label. Instead I read “White Pearls” which has emotional meaning to me.
Another related example. I read the cover of this report from the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and got quite excited. It was about a topic that resonated with me — Colleges are becoming increasingly competitive! Looking at the cover I read “Competition” instead of “Completion”. And only when reading the report, and feeling confused, I slowly realized that I had misread the title.
Well, after months of daily thinking and trying to find and access my deep muscles in my body, and gradually understanding what Denise was talking about. I suddenly find I am reading better. Words and sentences on the page are not jumping around, being deleted, or combined as much.
Who would have thought my mind learned to read better from trying to stop my body from wiggling in my Pilates class!
Have you had an unexpected experience with Pilates or any other type of exercise? A connection between your body and mind? Please write a comment so we can learn from your experience. Thank you!