Are you capable of great endurance, power and fast action? Can you do some impressive moves? But if you are honest with yourself, is it possible you actually don’t feel that wonderful in your body? Do you still have back pain despite all your efforts? Does your neck nag? Do you grind your teeth at night? Do you suffer insomnia, feel low in mood, or do you just react way to fast when things don’t go your way? Or when considering your actual age, do you just feel old?
One of our lovely members gave me a super article by Katy Bowman who in last September’s Prevention magazine, writes about how our movements need to be nutritious and describes her workouts as a ‘movement diet’. But she realised that her fitness based activities actually consisted of ‘eating nothing but apples (the same workout I did day in and day out) and lollies (the time I spent sitting)’. She describes herself as feeling ‘movement malnourished’ like an active couch potato (or to use the more scientific term, ‘actively sedentary’). This sort of thing doesn’t make you feel your best you. The subtleties of yoga and pilates have taught me that less is more. It’s possible to feel better through smaller and more subtle movements. Using the analogy of the movement diet, you can consider these easier, softer movements to be just like the vitamins and minerals your body needs to feel wonderful.
At least once a week I found myself wondering how cave men and women moved. I reckon lots of squatting, springing, running, walking on uneven terrain, climbing, lunging, lifting, carrying: All of these movements, like a balanced fruit salad, in the name of getting yourself fed, watered and sheltered. Nowadays, your provider role means most likely just sitting at a desk to earn money, to then pushing the trolley around the supermarket to spend it. Maybe you lug your own bags to the car (though I rarely do these days), maybe a little learning forward to load the dishwasher (even that I am trying to encourage my kids to do), reaching up to hang out the laundry (also sometimes outsourced to youngest daughter). In this list, there’s very little that really gives your joints that sense of being oiled. And our limited range of movement day to day movements when coupled with high intensity workouts, often means an unhappy body: Tight calves, tight hamstrings, sore backs, stuck hips, rigid necks, and achey shoulders. The limbering movements we do in our yoga and pilates props classes are good example of healthy micronutrients your body needs to be healthy. And then it’s about staying mindful though the macro-movements (like when you do a long-hold yoga pose) so that for example, a hamstring stretching pose isn’t jamming into your neck.
Keeping your movements varied, like a nutritious diet ensures that your workouts serve you. I love how so many of our visitors at Transform have already figured this out and mix up their workouts accordingly. They reap the benefits. There’s a great satisfaction in being able to roll forwards from lying to a squat, being able to stand from seated without using your hands, lubricating your hip joints while lying back and bicycling.
Could you actually feel better if you incorporated that touch of softness to your movement diet?
- Try restorative yin yoga: We have Yin Sunday afternoons and Wednesday evenings.
- Try yoga nidra to restore your mind – (check our Friday evening experience coming up March 27)
- Bring the silky touch of swaying movements often found with the support of the soft hammock aerial yin for unforgettable experience Wednesday mornings. Also see our March 6 Soundcloud Aerial.
- Bring softness in to your life anyway you can, through cups of warming herb tea with friends and any experiences that connects you to your heart.
- Train your 8 year old to give you great shoulder rubs (that’s my fave! 😉)
Enjoy your softness!
PS Please forward this so someone you know who just might be overtraining. You might change their life.