The teacher of teachers is no stranger to working with moving bodies. Here, she shares her original poetry that delves into the body, beyond the physical, with the intention of bringing you into your own reflective thoughts as you contemplate movement.

Behind Your Heart

The space between the heart and spine
Dark, secret space
Unknown space to your consciousness
Until it hurts
Until it rears its memories

Conditioning hides behind the heart
Space being compressed and released with every beat
Compressed against the spine like a knock on the door
How long will it take to hear the knock
And how long before you go inside

Fearing to go inside the darkness behind the heart
The room of unknown memories, people, spirits
Facing the conditional you
Ignoring the pounding sound
How long before returning to the knocking
Pain that is felt stored in that heart space
Tucked away, hidden

I don’t know what lies inside
Fear, anger, sorrow
Love, joy and peace
Standing at the doorway
Peering in, curious now

Breath expands the space behind the heart
Opening the space, allowing the darkness to see the light
Slows the knocking of the heart against the spine
Softens the space
Easing resistance to enter the darkness

Revealing the mystery of the back space of the heart
To heal the pain
Return to the breathing
Soften, feel the back of the heart


Madeline Black is an author, poet, movement specialist and internationally known teacher in the Pilates world, with more than 25 years of experience teaching teachers. Her most recent book, Centered: Organizing the Body Through Kinesiology, Movement Theory and Pilates Techniques (Handspring Publishing, 2015), is a resource for all movement teachers. For more information, visit

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July 10, 2017 at 10:22 am
Category: Articles, Pilates Blog
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