We often get caught in a compartmentalized view of what embodiment and health looks like. We carve out a set amount of time in our day or week to move and pay attention to our bodies, meditate, thinking that the right dose of movement and mindfulness in any given week will be enough for feeling healthy, strong, mindful etc.
That doesn’t work for me and I don’t think it works for most people.
We don’t even notice the amount of stress or unhealthy tension we accumulate in our days while we are accumulating it and then we think we can alleviate or remedy this in one big chunk of movement or mindfulness activities. We might even think a week long retreat will be the cure.
Well, something that builds up over time gradually often needs the same dosing approach to be resolved. I don’t think anyone of us is designed to sit for prolonged periods in our days nor spend much time away from awareness of our bodies or breath.
What I empower my clients with are simple tools to bring embodied awareness into their day and little mindful movement snacks that lead to greater intrinsic mindfulness (mindfulness that we carry around with us and access in anyone environment we find ourselves in).
This often means creating a new idea of what mindfulness and healthy movement looks like.
I AM A MOVER AND A SHAKER AND I THINK EVERYONE NEEDS TO BE ONE TOO!
Tongue in cheek…of course. This is what works for me.
I don’t go a day without shaking from the ground up. Shaking is no new thing but I can tell you even one minute of shaking can help soften body armouring from chronic stress and even potentially free up our diaphragms for improved breathing biomechanics. The size or intensity of my shake meets my needs in the moment to discharge stress or activation or even to ‘wake up’ my nervous system if I’m feeling a little collapsed or shut down. Shaking is not a new thing. Animals do it all the time to discharge stress. Think of dogs in thunderstorms. Think of how happy a dog is after shaking out after being wet! Same goes for our bodies. Same autonomic nervous systems in all mammals.
Whether I’m at home or at work, I find myself moving strategically/consciously or spontaneously to what moments of intrinsic mindfulness tell me is beneficial to me. Sometimes I need to down regulate my autonomic nervous system. Sometimes I need to upregulate. Sometimes I need to find a way to channel emotions into movement so they feel less stuck in me. Sometimes it can be as simple as noticing my hips are getting cranky or my inner core unit needs a little integration. I’m responding to my body’s in the moment needs or daily needs.
Here’s a specific example for you. Before I delivered a webinar yesterday I had been dealing with a build of up activation in my body and mind so I did some HIIT intervals before and voila! My breathing become more regulated and I spoke slower and was more grounded during my webinar. I think we all can learn to read our bodies and brains needs in a way that turns us into our own experts.
My preferred way of moving in my days is through movement snacks for the most part. I didn’t coin this term. It’s brilliant when we think about it. Petra Fisher introduced me to Katy Bowman’s work and I resonate with her movement philosophy in many many ways. Here’s a great article from Petra with 36 Ways to Start Moving More. Her writing makes change so accessible.
So let’s think about it.
If we only ate one meal a day, we would be a mess. If we only ate three meals a week, we would be a mess. If we tried to cram all our food requirements that we had neglected in one big dose every so often, we would be severely nutrient deficient and very disconnected from our bodies and emotions that exist through sensations in our nervous systems.
IT’S ABOUT BODY INTELLIGENCE!
If all this sounds kind of vague or even unaccessible given your current life situation, I promise you it’s more possible than you might believe. Becoming a mover and a shaker is such a central part of my in person coaching or my Recover Your Warrior Foundations webinar series.
My mission is to help everyone who works with me either remotely or online to access their own innate body intelligence by learning how to listen to signals from their bodies and brains with a well informed lens and then feed their brains and bodies what they need in the moment. It can take time and lots of practice but once the channel for body intelligence is open, it become an intrinsic part of who we are.
If you’re interested in accessing your body intelligence and building intrinsic mindfulness into your days, shoot me a note to firstname.lastname@example.org to book a personal consultation or visit recoveryourwarrior.com for all the information about my webinar programs. I have a super interesting one coming up called “When Intuitive Eating Doesn’t Work and my next Recover Your Warrior Foundations webinar starts in March!