More Than A Workout
Much like many people my journey into all things health, fitness, and wellness started at a local gym. I was quickly saturated in the idea that “lifting weights” or “going to the gym” was the only way to “get fit” . I was taught that a good workout was a good pump followed by a 20 minute cardio session on the bike or treadmill.
You may have a similar story to mine, or maybe your journey started at your favourite boot camp, yoga, pilates or spin class. These are all great ways to move the body but they aren’t the only way. Movement is more than what you do at the gym or fitness centre for 1 hour a few days a week. Movement is more than getting a good pump, great sweat or relaxing stretch.
Movement is about creating physical autonomy and freedom through a mindful approach. It is an intentional practice, allowing you to dive deep into the specific areas of mobility, strength, balance, and coordination. Most of us approach movement through exercise, which is a subcategory of a much grander experience.
Let your vision of what constitutes moving your body become bigger. Bigger than the one hour exercise class you might go to during the week, while being sedentary the rest of the time. Let it become less about exercise and more about MOVEMENT, and all the wonderful ways your body has the potential to move pain free.
Movement can be playing outside, learning a new skill like hand balancing, dancing because it feels good or simply going for a walk after a long day. Movement can be doing simple stretches at your desk throughout the day or adding in a few mobility moves before bed. Before delving too deeply into what movement looks like, lets first define movement;
move·ment | \ ˈmüv-mənt \
Definition of movement
(1) : the act or process of moving
especially : change of place or position or posture
(2) : a particular instance or manner of moving
Movement is Medicine
Move to heal your body. Move to calm your mind. Move to soothe your soul. When we choose to look at movement as medicine we start to release ourselves from purely physical confines. We can shift into a new perspective, unlocking ways we can use movement to nourish our entire being. We are beautiful beings orchestrating as a trifecta of mind, body, and soul.
When we only focus on only one third of our beings we are choosing to divide ourselves. But when we look beyond our bodies, we can use movement to weave & connect this trifecta, we can choose to become whole.
I personally have found myself stuck in the physical confines of movement. In the past, choosing to focus strictly on the body. An approach that led to compartmentalizing this piece from my entire being. The journey continues down the path of viewing my body & movement still in a light of usefulness & capability. This time using movement as a way to push my body to limits & beyond. Getting stronger, faster, and fitter was the only goal in mind. And then along came adversity, my dear friend. Chronic pain & injuries that opened my eyes to the world of movement possibilities. To the world of moving to heal my body. To honour where I was at in my journey. And to build resiliency in my body, mind, and soul.
I still remind myself everyday why I move. And before unconsciously hitting the gym or the mat I stop to take a few breaths, connect with my orchestra within and listen to its request. I choose to move to heal, calm & soothe my body, mind, and spirit. Everyone’s reasons for movement can and will be unique to the individual.
Why Do You Choose to Move?
As human beings we are meant to move. We are meant to walk, jump, squat, bend, reach, carry and so much more. As a movement educator & Bowen Therapist my focus is proper movement. This can be daily movement, like off-setting bad habits, or more specialized movement, like strength & power building. Here are a few reasons to consider implementing a daily movement practice:
- A simple way to honour your body needs & your primal evolution. Our bodies evolved to move, not sit around all day!
- Pain reduction – whether it is chronic or acute, movement designed for your body can lead you away from pain and into a greater sense of ease.
- A movement practice where you implement strength, mobility, stability, and coordination can help to prevent an injury down the road.
- A few moments of mindful movement can reduce physical, mental, and emotional stress that we accumulate in our daily lives.
- Lastly, it’s fun & feels good!
How to Start a Movement Practice?
While movement is accessible to all ages, and capabilities, as we move through life we can gather movement patterns that become inefficient or cause pain. Hiring a movement coach that inspires you and shows you all the ways you can add movement into your life can be a beneficial adjunct to healing your body.
Whether you are looking to work with someone privately or in a group setting, ensure they knit & weave programs for you based on a collection of movement experience to compliment your unique movement biography. Movement needs to transcend a one-size-fits-all model and become an approach that feels most authentic to you. Here are a few ways you can start to explore movement in your life today:
-Walking… anywhere! In nature, on the beach, or on hills. All of these movement situations give your body a different stimulus.
-If you tend to sit for most of the day, set a reminder to get up and move 5-10 minutes every hour.
-Choosing to sit on the floor, or a chair of a lower height will take your body through different ranges of motion.
-Shut off your brain, join a class and follow along with an expert’s programming!
-Choose a simple, minimal equipment movement practice that you can incorporate at home.
-Keep it short & sweet! 15 – 30 minutes is a great way to get your body ready for the day.