We tend to think of our bodies as objects, a thing to whip into shape, pull, push, open, close, turn on and and tone up. However, your body is more like a country than a car, it records feelings and changes shape and activity according to what has and is happening there. Your body is a dynamic place with a memory and feedback. Your body is a place of living record, imprinting your experiences, shaping your structure and informing your movement patterns. All of your emotions, memories of touch, play, relationships, activities, experiences including arguements, making love, hearing music, viewing art, tasting food... ALL of these experiences happen within the territory of your body. Your body is a place, not a thing.
Movement is not only something we do, it is something that we are in, all of the time. Movement is present in exercise, however, it is perhaps more accurate to think of exercise existing within movement. This includes all the practices of being alive, breathing, walking, sleeping, sitting, sex, eating, etc. Everyone that has a body is in movement from the moment of their existence, so it is not a question of if you have a movement practice, it is simply a question of how well it is going.
Fitness is important, yet in our modern world it has occupied most of the territory in educating people about their bodies and unfortunately often describing the body largely as a machine. The heart is a pump, joints as levers and hinges, the brain as a computer... This analogy models an inherent error, as it articulates the body as an object missing the fact that the body is living, responsive, changing and the place of all of your human experiences.
So what does this mean for exercising from a movement paradigm? It means cultivating a new relationship to your physicality that moves beyond the mat and into your life. As a movement educator, I use physical practice to expand our presence, awareness and proficiency of living in a body. My aim is to have practices that help us move through our lives, in the place known as your body. Think about it next time you exercise or maybe even when you are brushing your teeth, anxious for a meeting or arguing with your partner. Your body is recording, informing and shaping your life, all of the time...
Reclaim your territory. Move Well.
Coming soon! A Winter psycho-educational workshops series, and Spring workshop movement intensives in Vermont, Vancouver and Lasqueti Island.
For some further reading on how technology, culture and trauma shape us, check out: Douglas Rushkoff: Team Human, Peeps: Tracking cultural shifts around the world, Polyvagal Theory, Bessel van der Kolk: How trauma lodges in the body
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