It’s probably no surprise that movement is a huge part of my life. Huge. In fact, when I think of what would cheer me up when I’m a bit blue, how to energize when I’m feeling fatigued, what to do when I have a cold, how to encourage better digestion, or what to do to make an aching back feel better...here’s what I think of:
- Dancing [usually alone on my yoga mat or alone in the kitchen]
- Hot cups of herbal tea
- Walks outside
As a former dancer, movement has always been the way, and usually movement that’s not pre-planned or prescribed. I sometimes forget that this has always been one of the first ways to heal myself (I’m thinking of a bad day I had once where I immediately came home, closed the bedroom door, turned the music up, and danced like a maniac).
And, this movement is needed now more than ever that my life has shifted completely. Some nights the baby sleeps well, some nights he doesn’t. Some days I have 30 minutes to take a “wog,” other days are a blur of writing and laundry and did we feed the dogs? Some days, my body feels amazing and others I have to remember that my core is still strengthening and my sacrum is still a bit achy from a thing called birth.
But, always there’s movement. There’s yoga. There’s a way of healing the body by working with it and not against it. So often, I think we push. I know I do. I WANT to be able to get into side crow easily again. I WANT to be able to test my boundaries (and hamstrings} in the those deep forward folds. I WANT to endure a 75 minute sweaty yoga practice with all the inversions. But, then I have to pause and consider...is that what my body needs? Is that my medicine for this moment?
You guys, every now and then I believe we all need to step back and think about our practice. Yoga is the union between the mind, the body, the spirit, the breath. It literally means “to yoke.” It’s a way to understand what our souls and physical bodies need in THIS moment and to use movement as a means to heal, to feel alive, to move that prana (energy) all around. We know we’re out of balance when this pushing or going too far or doing too much leaves us depleted, injured, agitated. We learn to incorporate softer means of movement, and additional means of healing. For me, it’s tea in the evening, acupuncture, deep breathing with meditation, nature walks.
Recently, I practiced on my mat all alone in the studio. No music. No specific poses in mind. And, what happened? I started dancing on my mat... Weird? Perhaps. But, I hadn’t done that in SO long! The mixing of Warriors and Sun Salutations and a little hip hop inspired breakdancing (side note: I am NOT a breakdancer, but I pretend alone sometimes) that helped me feel alive again after a sleepless night. Stirring up that prana healed and rejuvenated my soul. Made that headache feel so much better.
Remember why you practice. Remember what practice is right for you on any given day. Today, it could look like stillness and breathing seated on the floor. Tomorrow, it could be a practice filled with flowing movements and long holds in pigeon. And, the next day it could be free flowing or breakdancing on your yoga mat. Move because it feels good. Move because it makes you feel better. Move in a way the feeds your soul. And, when movement isn’t the answer, find outside methods of healing, too.
As always, I do love to hear from you! Please write and share your thoughts.