Finding Your Center

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“The most important part of this exercise is to make sure that your core is tight and strengthened. This technique will assist you in keeping your body balanced as you complete this plank exercise.” This is a familiar message that one of my past physical trainers would frequently tell me. The plank exercise consists of holding your body flat to the ground as you rest the pressure of your body on your forearms and tippy toes. Take a look at the following picture:

The trick to this exercise is to divert your attention from your extremities to your core, because keeping your core tight will assist you in balancing your body. For me, focusing on keeping my core tight can be very difficult due to the pressure that is exerted on my tippy toes and forearms—I have fallen often. However, it is very encouraging to learn that after continuous effort your core muscles get stronger, and it is easier to hold your body up for prolonged periods of time.
Interestingly, I think that the plank exercise is very similar to the exercises that we experience in life—especially when it comes to dealing with stress and leading a balanced life—a couple of constant challenges for a graduate student, or rather for us all regardless of a particular work/student status. Oftentimes, it is extremely easy to focus on those pressure points/stressful issues, and I have come to realize that we all have a natural tendency to focus on areas that may seem to demand our most immediate attention to stay afloat in the midst of many pressures. But once again, what I have found to be extremely encouraging is that focusing on strengthening my center helps me to remain joyful and at ease. For me, strengthening my core consists of strengthening my spiritual life and relationships with family and friends. For you, it could be a plethora of different things that help keep you grounded in life. Interestingly, there was a documentary on individuals who were 100 or older, and they shared many important nuggets of wisdom. A common thread of information that they all provided was that they led easygoing lives and avoided getting overly stressed about life occurrences. Also, researchers have found that doing simple things such as finding a quiet space for 15 minutes a day can help to reduce stress levels. So what would you consider to be your core/center? And what are some exercises that you could use to strengthen the aspects that are central to your life? After continuous effort, you may find that you will have a rock solid core that helps you stay afloat in the midst of anything. So, whenever you may feel unbalanced, it may be a good idea to ask yourself if your core is strengthened. All in all, I say cheers to a strengthened core, a balanced life, and meaningful living!
Cassandra Kirkland

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2 Responses to “Finding Your Center”

  1. Christine Szymanski LCSW Says:

    Do you have any workshops in Phenix City, Ala. area.

    • achmi Says:

      Hi Ms. Szymanski,

      We have a family resource center in Phenix City–The Children and Family Connection of Russell County. The address is: 901 13th Street, Phenix City, AL 36867. Also, their phone number is 334-448-1010. April Spear is the marriage educator for this center.

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