A Man of Principle

There is a fundamental concept in Pilates, the principle behind which translates well into many other areas of living. Called “navel to spine,” this process involves drawing your abdominal muscles up and in as you imagine your navel drawing toward your spine. Performing navel to spine while you exhale increases the stability of your torso and facilitates centered movements which emanate from your “powerhouse” (the girdle of strength in the center of your body).

When you grok this concept and learn to maintain it in a variety of movements you gain access to a part of you that you might not have known existed. Moreover, I’ve found this concept has many applications beyond Pilates. This postural control applies neatly to the development of a good seat in horse riding, it helps to generate a more efficient and powerful pedal stroke on a bicycle and when the principle is applied in a broader context it provides a proven model for living an expansive and generative life.

Just as the eyes are the window to the soul, specific applications of true principle provide an aperture into the vast library of wisdom which is always at hand. The application itself is finite and typically quite limited in scope, but the principle behind it is usually simple yet profound. In this case there are a variety of physical applications, but the real gravy comes when you learn how to consolidate your mental and spiritual resources to the vertebral column of your inner life.

You may have heard the phrase, “he is a man of principle.” What does that mean, really? To me it means much more than the usual connotation (the individual is a person of character or someone with strong morals). A man of principle is someone who has taken the time to examine the eternal principles of truth which underlie all creative activity. A man of principle is willing to ask the difficult questions, hear the difficult answers and remain humble, vigilant and compassionate instead of being lulled to sleep in ignorance.

4 thoughts on “A Man of Principle

  1. Zach

    I think your expanded definition of “a man of principle” is one of those times the revamp fits better than the original. A man of principle realizes that any true principle has some application in every part of life, it is just a matter of seeing it. Therefore the aperture is always left open for a new learning experience, a new way of applying a principle that might already be understood in a different area.


  2. Ricardo B.

    When I think of principle, it similarly conjures up order and beginnings. A man of principle would put first things first, organizing his life in such a way where there is a clear distinction of the truly important things in life. Self-motivated, he needs far fewer incentives to achieve success for he cannot bear the shame of not doing what he knows is the right thing. There is no rest for man of principle, only moments of welcomed refreshments which come naturally as night follows day. There is a yearning to earn all privileges in life, and a principled man cannot be bought and thus never sold. He will be of the last ones standing through the fit conditioning gained from well-exercised discipline. He becomes an embodiment of truth, both naturally attracting and being attracted to all expressions of principle, and as it resides in the deepest recess of his heart, he knows all other loves in life only in relation to his center. He is a living principle.


  3. Coco

    Interesting point. During things like jury selection you’d think this is the type of skill thats looked for but most often it is not as this is a person that is not easily manipulated. This type person is not easy to be swayed by things like gossip or media spin. Great explanation,thanks.


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