Fostering Connection during a Pandemic

Mary Lou Savino, owner Be Fit Physical Therapy & Pilates

Connection. What exactly does that mean and how does it apply to us, especially during a pandemic? Well, looking at it from a “Joseph Pilates” point of view, it could mean the connection between body, mind, and spirit so maybe I’ll start there with his six principles and then tie them to how WE are all connected and how we can nurture connection between us all, even during a pandemic.

Concentration: Mindful focus of kinesthetic sense (the sense of position and movement of the body) and awareness of body positioning throughout movement or exercise.
Breathe: Movement initiation, facilitation & sequencing begins and ends with breathe awareness and coordination.

Centering: Whole body integration through powerhouse recruiting core musculature and intentional focus. (Really from the deepest muscles of the ‘core’ or center of your body).
Control: Body mind activation of movement objectives performed with clear intent and purpose. (If you’ve been here for PT, you’ve probably heard our talk on how control and form are more important than repetition).

Precision: Proper execution done with controlled accuracy adhering to specific parameters and guidelines. (I like this one! Proper execution of movement fits right in with our PT criteria!).
Flow: Quality reigns over quantity with emphasis on efficiency of movement done fluidly with precision and control. (Love this principle because quality is key but also learning to move fluidly is soooo functional).

Okay, so how can I apply these principles to my own Body, Mind, Spirit connection and connect with others through this last 2 years of what seems like a forever and never-ending pandemic?
I’ve been thinking about this a lot because I know, like myself, so many people have endured so much during the last 2 years.

I’m taking these principles to heart and working on connection. First, by principle of concentration and by being mindful and aware of the needs of myself, my family, my work family, and my friends as well as perfect strangers who are maybe not as fortunate as I am right now during this time. I feel like I must be mindful and be aware if I am going to truly be of any help to anyone. And I really want to help people. That I know for sure.

Breathe, beginning and ending with breathe awareness. Interesting, right? Well without breathe there is no life, that makes sense. So, I am trying to learn to use my breathe to calm myself, to invigorate myself and for meditation which is hard for me because I don’t like to be still! Mostly, I use my breathe as a form of meditation during my Pilates practice when I am all alone but I’m working on that stillness thing!

The thing about breathe and connection is that if you don’t have a good sense of breathe you may breath more shallow or only into the upper chest and not down into the lower lobes of the lungs and diaphragm. This is more important than you think because that also means you don’t have a good connection to your deeper core musculature which leads to weakness from the center of your body.
This breathe connection leads directly to the next concept of Centering which is about integration and intentional focus. I feel like my whole business is built around this concept because I have always considered Be Fit an integrated PT and Pilates center that has an intentional focus on total wellness.
The principle of Control feels like an extension of this because this integrated way of performing PT was really the objective which takes a lot of ‘clear intent and purpose’.

For me, this intent and purpose is more than just my business, it’s my lifestyle. Not my life or my whole life, but my connection to the people. Oddly enough, through this whole ordeal, I’ve realized that the real connection is who I am and what I do and by extension, who WE are and what WE do here at Be Fit! The fact that I have staff that feel the same way and want to be connected to others in the same way that I do is amazing!

When I think about the principles of precision and flow being about execution and quality over quantity, I try to think about how to better execute my life and think about how I affect others, hopefully in a positive way. That means I must think and feel and speak in a positive way.

Everyone can agree that positivity is hard during a pandemic but that’s where CONNECTION comes in! If we can work on becoming more connected and being grounded and connect to each other and to those who needs us, then we will survive AND thrive as we move through life during this pandemic.

Even though we’ve been hit with some rough times, being conscious and being connected to ourselves, to others and to the world in which we live is the key to growing and moving forward.

Yes, there is no denying that LIFE has changed but more and more I am feeling like connection is what’s most important. So, if you need me, I’m here. Come and connect with me. I may be little but I’m easy to find. 😊

Mary Lou Savino