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The Ritualist: What Does Exercise Have to Do with Rituals?

Everything

Photo by courtesy of Emily Tepper

Everything. When we exercise, we choose what we would like to feel like, and we choose the experience we'd like to have with our body. Take swimming, for example. It gives you a totally different feeling and experience than that from a kickboxing class does. Both are great choices; both give you very different results.

This case study is of a client at Bushwick Pilates combining her exercise and movement with a Custom Designed Ritual. She started by placing an intention into her exercise. Her intention was to get her “yang,” or masculine energy, laser-focused and in service of her “yin,” or feminine energy.

In her design session, we customized her exercise to go with her intention for her life. It’s just like creating a recipe to bake a certain dessert, talking about your goals with a new trainer. We created an activity that would give her nervous system and body the feeling and experience she wanted to have in the rest of her life.

The client approached a swimming pool with a knife between her teeth and dove into the water. As she swam through the pool, she cut a treasure chest loose from the bottom of the pool and swam a small obstacle course.

She then exited the pool with the treasure chest, sliced it open, and served herself fresh figs that had been placed inside with her blade. The title of her Custom Designed Ritual was “Marry Yourself.” It was about combining her exercise with her desire to always take care of and be in a good relationship with herself. Within 3 months, this same client got married, tripled her income by rebranding her business and became pregnant, something she had wanted!

One of my favorite teachers has a saying that goes, “How you do anything is how you do everything.” This is the cornerstone belief of combining your exercise with a Custom Designed Ritual, and this is what we do here at Bushwick Pilates. The world is crying for us to bring our whole bodied self to the table in how we love and how we live. Combining a Custom Designed Ritual with how you condition your body results in feeling more of your power and more of your truth all day every day.

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