"The spiritual concept most akin to the physical idea of the core, or 'powerhouse' in Pilates is the word 'centering.' In recent times, 'centering prayer' has been used to describe wordless waiting upon God, just being still in God's presence, like Quakers sitting silently in their meetings centering their attention on the inner light of the divine presence. It is the way of prayer to which I myself am particularly drawn, and I have discovered that it has the same effect on daily life as Pilates awareness has on skiing. When I have spent twenty minutes to half an hour early in the day finding my center in God, I move through the following hours with a stability that is missing when I have neglected that regular practice.

"I think of St. Patrick who, according to his hymn 'St. Patrick's Breastplate,' protected himself from danger not by an outward physical shield but by binding to himself 'the strong name of the Trinity.' Pilates reminds me that the 'whole armor of God' is deeply interior, not something merely on the surface. I put it on by being with God, and through that time of being with God, I am given a measure of God's strength, God's stability.

"Pilates is not a 'quick fix' type of exercise. It is a slow process of finding and then working from our center, with both our body and our mind. Once discovered, we must keep it up, or those deep muscles will forget their strength.

"The same is true of my prayer. It would be great to discover stability in God through a religious 'high' of some kind, but it doesn't happen often, nor does it usually last when it does. Instead, we are called just to show up: to be there in that unseen place that is our 'center' with our body, our mind, our heart, and our strength."

Nancy Roth in Spiritual Exercises: Joining Body and Spirit in Prayer