I run into problems with my prayer life due to my super active brain. My mom used to tell me I read and think faster than I could talk or write. I memorize things quickly, and am almost always thinking about five things at once -- except when I dance.
There is something about physical movement that slows my mind down and lets me focus. I developed this stretching/pilates rosary because I noticed I was saying the rosary with 3/4ths of my brain elsewhere.
I'm calling it stretching/Pilates, but these are really movements I've taken from yoga, pilates, ballet, and other movement forms. It's a mishmash of ideas. Take what works, leave what doesn't.
The important thing is to work both sides of your body equally, and I encourage you to start on your weaker side (for me it's my left - like bad.)
Note: I am not a certified instructor of anything. Do not use this if you are not medically cleared for physical exercise.
Yoga mat and Rosary.
Make sure you wear clothes you can easily move in. I like to do this barefoot, but you can wear socks if you prefer.
Have a water bottle handy.
Holding the Rosary
I generally just hold my place onto the rosary beads with whatever hand is on the mat during that set. You'll need to work out what works best for you with your balance and range of movement.
All Glory Be's = Child's Pose
All Our Fathers = While on all fours with a flat back, gently wiggle your spine from side to side - looking toward your hip as it moves to the right, and the same on the left.
Creed - I like to sit cross legged on my mat and just hold the rosary while saying the Creed, I find I do better with the rest of the set if I take a minute to mentally get ready for both the prayer and the exercise.
Hail Marys - On all fours, do "Cat-Cow" for the entirety of the 3 Hail Marys. Don't bother counting, just get your movement fluid.
First 5 Hail Marys - Stretch out the left arm and right leg. Hold for the entire set. Optional: make this more challenging by making little circles with your arm and leg.
Second 5 Hail Marys - Stretch out the right arm and left leg. Hold for the entire set.
Second MysteryFirst 5 Hail Marys - Still on all fours, lift the right leg, crunch in with the right leg in attitude (make sure you keep your back flat!).
- Option 1: Leg back to straight and lifted
- Option 2: Leg back to straight and lifted, tap down, lift back up
- Option 3: Leg back to straight and lifted, tap down, tap crossed over to the opposite side, lift back up
Repeat for the whole set.
Second 5 Hail Marys - Repeat on the left.
Lay on your right side. Place arms either behind your head (for a stronger abdominal workout) or left arm flat on the mat, right arm supporting in front.
First 5 Hail Marys - Lift right leg pointed up as high as you can, flex back down.
Second 5 Hail Marys - Lift right leg flex up as high as you can, point back down.
Lay on your left side. Place arms either behind your head (for a stronger abdominal workout) or right arm flat on the mat, left arm supporting in front.
First 5 Hail Marys - Lift left leg pointed up as high as you can, flex back down.
Second 5 Hail Marys - Lift left leg flex up as high as you can, point back down.
Option 1: Plank 4 Hail Marys, move back to downward dog for 1 Hail Mary, Plank 4 Hail Marys, downward dog one Hail Mary.
Option 2: Plank the whole decade.
I use this as a cool down. Spinal twists normally feel really good at this point.
While seated on the mat, take right leg, cross over left (right foot on the floor, left leg entirely on the floor and bent.) Wrap left arm around right leg, breathe, lift and turn as far as you comfortably can to the right, with right arm going behind you.
Repeat on the left side.
Let me know if these make sense to y'all. I might have my husband help me make video or gifs to show you the movements when he gets home from Minnesota. :)