Moving Mindfully

So many times, we take for granted our ability to move. We go through motions which have become mindless. From walking, to sitting in a chair, to getting out of a car, to picking up a child… and that doesn’t even tap into our workout movements.

As a yoga instructor, I like to think I have been aware of my body, but at some point between quitting ballet in 2005 and learning how to run in 2006, I lost my keen awareness to movement that had been ingrained in me from a young age.

After reoccurring back injuries and abusing my body (in the sense that I thought it would and should do what I wanted it to – no questions asked) I have learned the art of observance. It is hard to embrace. We have so many distractions and a societal-driven need for immediate satisfaction that finding the patience to listen to our body can be an extreme challenge.

I admire yogi Tara Stiles very much. But recently she had a post that I didn’t agree with. It was something along the lines about when did yoga become about engaging your core and dropping your tail bone to the floor? Both key phrases I use in my yoga and barre class; things I think that a far more important to be aware of during your workout.  People should think about their alignment rather than what they wear for their practice.

How often are you able to go to yoga practice and truly release every thought and be completely present, focusing only what you are doing on the mat and how your body feels? I think many of us have any intention of doing so, but our minds can get so busy and so flooded with “other” that we lose our ability to connect with our bodies.

Uniting our mind and body on the mat takes much work and dedication; a reminder of that every once in a while is a good tool to practice safely. Not every body is the same and we need to be conscious of our range of motion, finding our own expression of the pose, and engage every part of our body from head to toe.

Are you stepping on the mat today? Going for a run? Taking a fitness class? Where will your mind be?

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