We can have a core workout physically, which can mean all of the above sentences, or a mix of yoga poses, weight training, or dancing even. A strong physical core means that our back will be supported when we use it. Our muscles wrap around the middle of our body.
When I was a child, my left leg went numb, my lower back ached constantly, and my leg was dragging behind me for lack of muscle control. The doctors discovered that I had spondolysthesis. My 5th lumbar vertebrae up from my tailbone was a little out of place, pressing on nerves, enough so to numb my left leg.
The experimental trial was to lay in bed for a month and see if the pressure came off of the nerve. The other option was back surgery. My parents were frightened at that option, so being in bed for a month was the non-invasive answer.
After a month of being waited on hand and foot, my left leg regained its feeling and I could walk normally again. Unfortunately, inactivity made me gain 15 pounds. I was told to strengthen my core, physically, every day. The doctors taught me all about sit-ups and stretching, plank (yoga), and rest and recovery for the core by curling up in child's pose (yoga). I refused to let myself go to bed without doing 200 sit-ups a day. I began dance classes and then became a certified aerobics, indoor cycling, and step aerobics teacher.
During that era of my youth, I went to the library each Saturday morning by myself and participated in a free yoga class in the darkly lit community room. At 15 years of age, I was the youngest yogi. The teacher was in her 70's, and the other students were senior citizens as well.
It was there that I learned of the power of silence, of doing nothing after an hour of trying difficult poses. The teacher's voice was velvet. I worked on my mental core. It was the core of silence, meditation, and repetition. Suiting up and showing up Saturday after Saturday worked my mental core to discipline and strength (as I worked my physical core).
Fast forward 5 years. At 20 years old, I was a senior in the university. I worked two jobs, taught fitness classes at Elaine Powers gym (for fun!), and maintained a straight A average. I met an artist where I waitressed who happened to go to my university, although in a different department. His art was amazing to me, very spiritual and abstract all at the same time. I saw images of the Holy Trinity mixed with splashes of color and poems about the homeless population.
My friend asked me if I had ever read the New Testament. I said that I had not, thinking it would offend my Jewish family. He set upon lending me his bible and I went on another journey, working out my spiritual core. I read a few pages a day and asked him questions about things I didn't understand, both symbolically and historically.
From then on, when I travelled the world modeling, I made it a point to visit and spend quality time in churches, synagogues, and temples. I realized that I had to have core workouts in every facet of my being.
Of course, as I got older and wiser, albeit busier, my goals remained to honor the core workouts that I learned many moons ago. The mind, body, and spiritual centers work better together. It is beneficial on many levels to do a core workout whenever and wherever we are. It is never too late, and you are never too feeble.
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