Oftentimes we feel overwhelmed with all the latest and greatest fitness research. There is so much to learn, so many new classes to try, and multiple philosophies to follow. Is it more reps with less weight? Or more weight with fewer reps? How do we move faster? Lose weight? Jam it all into one hour? The list goes on. What if we took control, listened to the signs, honored the movements our physical bodies are craving, and allowed ourselves to steer from within?
Why is this so challenging when it sounds so natural and easy? Through advertising and the common images that come with it, we often get an idea of what we should be doing. We attach a form of movement to an image of what will turn our bodies into the solid, defined, thin, symmetrical, long and lean, fill in the blanks, _____ body we may be desiring.
Imagine one dress is offered to a party full of women. One size may fit all, depending on what it’s made of, but consider the different feelings each woman would experience. The excitement it could spark, the dread it may produce, the grace one would display, or the lack of movement it may create.
Our commitment is to move our bodies as they are so naturally designed to do. Our challenge is to listen to what our bodies are truly saying. If you commit to steering from within, you will live an embodied life. Here is an offering of a new equation that doesn’t include numbers, and it goes like this . . .
TODAY I FEEL ____+ MY BODY IS CRAVING _____ = MOVEMENT CHOICE
Here are a few examples:
- Today I feel anxious + My body is craving steadiness = yoga class
- Today I feel sad + My body is craving joy = dance class
- Today I feel powerful + My body is craving to sweat = interval training
- Today I feel overwhelmed + My body is craving freedom = outdoor run
- Make a list. Record your common and/or personally enjoyable movement forms as well as a list of common emotions you feel throughout your week. Play with matching a movement form that would feel supportive of your emotions, and start to create your web of choices so your answer to movement is always a yes! You can add to this or change it at any time, so don’t ever feel like you need a perfect answer.
- Journal. Record your emotions and how your body feels after your first experience using this equation. Take note of what your body is craving, how you made your movement choice, and how you felt during and after exercising. In a few weeks you will have a list of favorite activities that support your wealth of emotions.
- Create a playlist. Support your workout with music. Choose songs that make you want to dance, scream, or run wild. You can also listen to the music on your way to class, during your long walk, or prior to hopping on your bike. Let your body know that you are listening and offering all the support and guidance to live an embodied life.