I am currently reading Louise Hay's book "You Can Heal Your Life" and in my opinion, it teaches you how to speak to yourself with respect and kindness rather than constantly kicking your own ass.
Our inner chatter is very very powerful and every once in a while we need some mental housecleaning. Without even realizing it, we tend to hold ourselves back because of negative thought patterns.
"Oh, I can't meditate." ....ok, then you won't.
"Nothing works out for me." .....ok, then nothing will.
"I'm too out of shape to go to Pilates" .....ok, then you become even more deconditioned.
What you put out (even inside your own noggin) you will certainly get back. I urge you to check in and catch yourself in negative thought patterns and then flip the script into something more positive. It's incredible what can happen for you.
Anyway, it was 5am and I was sitting in the dark with my book, my little book light, and my coffee doing my morning reading. I know, it's a bit absurd but it's the ONLY alone time I get and I treasure it. There was an exercise in the book that made me realize how much tension I was holding in my body. I was so inspired by the exercise that I used it as the ending meditation in class a few hours later. To feel for myself and also watch my clients bodies respond to this simple exercise FELT SO GOOD.
Please do yourself a favor and slowly read this passage from the book to feel an entire body shift in less than 60 seconds.
EXERCISE: LETTING GO
"As you read this, take a deep breath and as you exhale, allow all the tension to leave your body. Let your scalp, forehead, and face relax. Your head does not need to be tense in order for you to read. Let your tongue , throat, and shoulders relax. You can hold a book (or your phone) with relaxed arms and hands. Let your back, your abdomen, and your pelvis relax. Let your breathing be at peace as you relax your legs and feet.
Can you feel the change in your body? Notice how much you hold on. If you are doing it with your body, you are doing it with your mind.
In this relaxed, comfortable position, say to yourself, 'I am willing to let go. I release. I let go. I release all tension. I release all fear. I release all anger. I release all guilt. I release all sadness. I let go of all limitations. I let go, and I am at peace. I am at peace with myself. I am at peace with the process of my life. I am safe. " - Louise Hay
PHEW - that feels so much better, right?! The statement "notice how much you are holding on" really hit me. We are all hanging on for dear life most of the time. This is why small moments of stillness and calming the nervous system are so important.
It's why we focus so heavily on making sure we end classes with a nervous system reset in my Pilates Studio. We are dedicated to weaving in that small moment for you to really hit the pause button and just be.
I hope that helped you. If so, comment below and let me know you feel me. It makes my day to hear back from you.