I am constantly reminded of the importance of moving my body and how quickly it can change my mood. Beyond the physical benefits of an active lifestyle, movement lifts me up, shifts my mood and reduces stressed. I really don’t move my body to get a workout, but am happy get one in the process. I mainly move for enjoyment. Hooping, walking my dog, dancing or practicing yoga give me so much more than a fit body.
Movement Manages Stress
Managing stress is incredibly important. Like most people, I can get very busy “doing” and life can get overwhelming. Before I know it, that stress turns into anxiety and I can be a bit of a basket case but a 15 minute hoop session can change that almost immediately. My mind becomes clear, I can focus and I feel like I can take everything on. I truly can, too, and I’m more motivated to keep on going.
I’ve tried different ways to deal with my ever increasing workload; working through lunch, after hours in the evening and even on weekends. Working all the time was successful in that I got through everything I needed to but was so run down by the end of it, I became sick and was bedridden for two weeks – during my much needed vacation. I realized pushing through it and not taking time for myself wasn’t working. I’m going through my busy season right now and feel much more balance and healthy with lunch time hoop sessions, evening yoga classes and regular walks with my dog.
Movement Manages Mood
When the blah’s strike and I can’t be bothered to do anything about it except wallow in my sorrows, I often pick up my hoop, sweat a little and my frown is instantly turned upside down. My disposition completely changes and I begin to view things through a sunny lens rather than a cloudy one. It’s so easy to change, I just wish I would always remember this.
Movement is a catalyst for altering your mood. Emotions (energy in motion) are just chemicals and energy in our body, waiting to be expressed and released. If we don’t move our bodies, the emotions get stuck and build up. When we move and breathe, these emotions are un-stuck and our subtle energy, also known as chi or prana, flows through our body freely. To me, this is the whole purpose of the physical practice of yoga. That’s why you feel so great during savasana at the end of a yoga class, you’ve made space for all that prana (life force energy) to flow through all of your cells.
Think about it like this – when there is a kink in a hose, water gets backed up and pools and if there is too much pressure, eventually it could burst – ever blow up at someone when you’re mad? As soon as you release the kink, there is a spurt of water and it flows freely once more. Moving the human body is like unkinking the hose and letting our energy escape and flow free. If we don’t make space for the energy to move through us, over time, it will create dis-ease in our bodies, also known as disease. So many physical ailments can be prevented simply by moving. For me, movement is essential to remain healthy on the physical, mental and emotional levels.
The next time you’re feeling stressed or feeling down, get up and get moving. Find something you love to do that makes you breathe deep and sweat a little. Going for a run, a swim, a bike ride – even dancing in your living room or doing a few stretches will work. Take that time for yourself and give that energy inside of you a place to move. I can almost guarantee you will feel better than you did before you started!