I sometimes wonder if I’m obsessed with exercise, often asking myself, “Will I be okay if I don’t go for this run, practice yoga or hike up the mountain?” While there’s probably space for me to find more balance with my relationship to exercise, I’m also acutely aware that regular movement is an integral component of my wellbeing. Without it, I find it very difficult to get grounded – I feel disconnected. Because of this I make time to move (preferably first thing in the morning), even if my schedule’s completely inundated. Because if I don’t, all my to-dos could easily take twice as long, and my ability to get creative and problem solve stagnates. But when I enter my day fresh off a movement session, everything seems to come together, the many pieces of myself are integrated, and I feel as though my cobwebs have been cleared.
My love for movement made it an easy topic to include in our #TimeToAttune campaign this week, as movement is one of the surest ways to tune the instrument of the body, achieve harmony in the mind and ignite the soul to shine. In addition, movement is intimately connected to all our other #TimeToAttune topics: Environment and food, integrity, health, diversity and community, music, transformation and grace. Let me explain. The Environment I move in has a profound impact on the quality of my movement, as does the food I eat before and after it; showing up to move, even when I don’t feel like it, expands my sense of Integrity; movement impacts my Health on all levels; practices such as yoga allow me to enhance my knowledge and connection to other cultures, and strengthen my bond to various communities; the Music I listen to transforms how I perceive the various forms of movement I engage in; it’s impossible for me to move without being transformed in some way; and finally, movement helps me to drop into the divine flow of Grace.
While I’m committed to the daily practice of movement, as it offers me the symphony of benefits listed above, I’m also aware that I won’t always be able engage in it for an extended period – sometimes I barely have 15 minutes to fit it in, but that doesn’t break my resolve. For example, I recently found myself needing to go into the office but feeling an intense need to move my body. Instead of skipping the act, I grabbed my dog and sprinted to the mailbox and back. This took less than 15 minutes but the burst of activity raised my heart rate, conjured some sweat and cleared my mind. However, not everyone requires that intensity of movement – there are schools of thought that say all we need is gentle, meditative movement. On the other side of the spectrum is the super high intensity exercises our society commonly touts - for example, marathons and CrossFit. Many of us lie somewhere on this spectrum in terms of our movement needs. It’s up to each of us to discover what our sweet spot is, and then stay dedicated to maintaining it, in the name of nourishing the vibrancy of our mind, body and spirit.
Speaking of maintenance, I no longer believe that needs to look exactly the same each day – there’s room for adaptation depending on the messages that I am receiving from my body and my day-to-day circumstances. Because of this I find it essential to do a check in every morning to see where I’m at with my movement needs. Often, how much sleep I got the night before, my mental state, and my physical location all play into what movement I engage in, and for how long. For example, some mornings, the movement I receive through my sadhana is perfect – I don’t need an intense sweat session. Other times, I know that a full-on work out is essential to help me move through the limiting thoughts, pain and stagnant that are coming up for me.
Something that has greatly supported me on my journey of movement is my husband’s mutual commitment to it. We get each other when it comes to this, and help encourage one another in getting in the types of movement we both need. We give each other permission for this potent form of self-care, which nurtures our relationship in big ways, as it’s so much easier for us to connect on all levels when our movement needs are being met.
And it's not just my relationship with my husband that is elevated after movement, my connection to all humans shifts, as I’ve come to realize that when I’m not getting enough exercise, I’m easily triggered by others.
To ensure I’m living my life in a loving, connected and vibrant manner, I make sure to weave in the following as much as possible.
Beyond the physical and mental bliss a run creates, it also provides a great method for exploration, especially when I’m traveling. When I was in Austin, for example, running on the trails surrounding Town Lake offered an excellent introduction to the city.
I also enjoy Vinyasa yoga for its ability to move in sequences that challenge me and make me sweat. In addition, the fusion of its physicality, spirituality and mentality helps me access my essence and experience more openness. It helps everything move through me – I sweat it out.
Regardless of the type of yoga I’m engaging in, it all requires that I unplug, which I love. It also eliminates the need to talk, so I can go within and have an inner journey. And yet, while I enjoy this solo experience, I also appreciate the collective energy of a class, which is why I personally can’t get into online yoga classes.
As I write this, I’ve deepened my understanding of the fact that for me movement is so much more than just the moving of my body. Movement is my teacher, friend, therapist, guru and energy worker wrapped into one. It’s an indispensable part of my life, supporting me on all levels and serving as one of my clearest paths to attunement.
Because of the powerful force that is movement, I made sure to infuse it into every day of our upcoming Attune wellness event. With activities like nature walks, vinyasa flow, The Class by Taryn Toomey, kundalini, yin yoga, and so much more. The abundant helping of movement Attune attendees will revel in will be transformational on all levels. How do you move? How does it support your attunement? What keeps you motivated? Share with us in the comments. Join us for Attune! You don't want to miss this extraordinary experience!!!
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