Positive Energy 401 - Worst Motto EVER
Merriam-Webster defines pain as "the physical feeling caused by disease, injury, or something that hurts the body"
One popular motto that is still echoing through the general population is "no pain, no gain." It makes me cringe every time I hear it. This mantra encourages desensitization and disregard for the warnings of our bodies. Instead of getting fit from exercise, millions of people each year in the U.S. alone, become injured or speed up the aging of their joints and connective tissue.
I'd like to suggest we adopt "More gain without pain." This new motto isn't about failing to challenge ourselves, it's about being mindful, living in our bodies and feeling the full spectrum of sensations that come with being alive. It's about feeling pain, heeding the warning and recalibrating to move in a better, smoother, non-damaging & elegant way. It's about tuning into a world of wisdom that is being transmitted through our senses instead of numbing out. Benefits of being fully in your body include:
1) Increased benefit from exercise/movement. By tuning into your body you will learn to feel the difference between becoming more skilled, strong and flexible as opposed to powering through robotic movements while becoming more susceptible to injury.
2) Improved intuition. Your body sends countless non verbal messages all day long. Allowing yourself to feel your body gives you greater insight and decision making capability. You will be more sensitive to the nudges, tugs and gut feelings of your body. You may not be able to hear them at first but with a bit of practice you will begin to heart them more clearly every day.
3) Improved ability to relax. Being at home in your body teaches you to feel your heart rate, breathing, muscle tension and learn to influence these to bring yourself back to a relaxed state. You won't address a problem you're unaware of. Body awareness will give you a clear picture of how truly relaxed (or not) you are.
4) Avoiding injury. When we move mindfully we take notice of weak, tense, and restricted tissue. We can then address and correct issues when they are small. We'll become more mobile and strong years before an actual injury can occur. Prevention is and always will be better than a cure.
Numbing out is an easy habit to get into in a "rush rush" world. It's also a useful coping mechanism for dealing with intense pain, both emotional and physical. However, to reach deep levels of wellbeing and health, living in our bodies (embodiment) is essential.
For most of us, this is a life long journey but one that is well worth our time and effort. Take some time to think about how you can be more present in your body and consider the awareness exercises listed at the end of this email. Spring is near in the northern hemisphere and it's a good time for reawakening.
"The body never lies."
"Think with the whole body. "
- Taisen Deshimaru
"The body is a multilingual being. It speaks through its color and its temperature, the flush of recognition, the glow of love, the ash of pain, the heat of arousal, the coldness of nonconviction. . . . It speaks through the leaping of the heart, the falling of the spirits, the pit at the center, and rising hope. "
-Clarissa Pinkola Estés
All the best,
Bodywork, Movement & Holistic Lifestyle Design
recommended beginner activity:
Stop all activity for at least 3 minutes each day, check in with your breathing and ask the following questions:
How would I describe what I'm feeling? Do I feel any tension, fatigue or agitation? If my body could speak, what would it say? If you feel good, use descriptive language to describe what you are feeling (calm, centered, tickled, energetic etc.)
recommended advanced activity:
Take 3 minutes daily as described in the beginner exercise, ask the same questions and after checking in with you're body, articulate your major joints.
You accomplish joint articulation by taking each of your joints through a complete range of motion using circular movements. For example: turn your head from side to side, roll your shoulders, wrists, hips, knees, ankles using complete circle movements. This will warm up your joints, bring blood and lymph to your joints, increase body awareness and improve your energy level and function. Doing this on a daily basis is life changing and there is endless potential for increasing your skill level in joint movement and reverse aging your body.
It's not your age, it's your lifestyle.
Want to take your health to the next level?
Email me at email@example.com, let's talk about solutions.
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