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r o o t + r e a c h (grow through what you go through)


(Pololū Valley, Big Island, Hawaii)

Pilates, and life in general, is like a tree. You need to grow in both directions – up and down – to make the most of it and to feel balanced and complete. Your roots need to be as deep as the reach of your boughs.

In the Pilates method, we talk a lot about “two-way stretch” – feeling your body pulling and working in two directions at once, creating length, space, and growth. In my experience, if you take that concept to any kind of movement (Pilates or otherwise), it makes it more effective and meaningful.

This same principle of “root and reach” or “two-way stretch” applies to life too. We often get distracted by focussing too much on the “reach” – the externally recognizable things or visible results. And those are great. But just as important (if not more important) are the roots… the deep, internal work; the things that ground you and connect you to yourself, reality, and nature. In my experience, focussing on your roots is going to help you work at improving your reach… Showy, dramatic “branches” don’t last long if your tree hasn’t rooted deep enough to weather a storm or tough circumstances. Try to see if, instead of being discouraged by challenging times, you can use it as an opportunity to “grow through what you go through”, and to root before you reach.

Maybe right now you’re feeling like you’re losing your “results” or “goals” and things you’ve been trying to work toward… But perhaps instead, you can try to shift your perspective to your internal “roots” and grow in a different (if perhaps invisible) way. Even if others can’t see your growth (and even if you can’t take before/after shots to post on the Gram), and even if you can’t see external changes in others, that doesn’t necessarily mean the growth isn’t there. Part of being alive and part of nature is to root and to reach.

Are you more of a “root” or “reach” person? What are y