What I miss most as we navigate this pandemic is the feeling of relief that floods my body when I see the people that I love. That deep breath of calm that comes over me when the beautiful loving face of a friend or family member who cares deeply about me appears, even before we have said a word. Lucky for me, I get that feeling every morning since I still have my husband and 3 children at home with me. Unfortunately, that is not the case for many others who are navigating this challenging time alone.
Overwhelming research shows that human nature requires 3 main things to ensure longevity, health, and overall wellness. First is breath, then physical fitness, and third in the list is social connection. We are fortunate to live in a place where fresh air is plenty. Physical fitness is our motive at Synergy+ but we are all lagging on the social connection. While staying connected through internet platforms is a form of connection, it is shown to be not nearly as beneficial as in-person contact. We can increase the feeling of connectedness by stepping out of our comfort zone and joining a virtual group or class and knowing that this time is temporary. It has also been shown that how we perceive our isolation can change how it affects us, so we can help ourselves during this time by creating a deeper connection within.
Connection through mindful movement is one of the foundational Pilates principles. Pilates states that connection within oneself of the mind and body will necessarily improve overall health. He writes “Contrology (Pilates) is gaining the mastery of your mind over the complete control of your body.” Joseph Pilates firmly believed that through the practice of thoughtful movement, one can change posture, decrease pain, and provide a fully functioning body. The ultimate connection goal is the point at which the subconscious mind learns the intricacies of movement and keeps the physical body healthy with functional daily movement.
While life seems less motivating without our usual activities and social interactions, we can use this time to renew our focus on our physical bodies and deepen the connection we have between the body and mind. Tuning into our inner mind-body connection will undoubtedly create thoughtful movement, less pain, increased functional mobility, and improved posture resulting in increased health and well-being.
I encourage you to take charge of your health today by stepping out of your comfort zone and finding a new way to connect right now.
Zeina A. Grifoni, MPT
Licensed Physical Therapist, Certified Pilates Instructor and Synergy+ Founder
For more on connection and social wellness: https://www.npr.org/2020/04/23/842564307/meditations-on-loneliness