What is mindful movement?

Photo by  Reverb London

Photo by Reverb London

As a personal trainer, I am a huge advocate for the importance of exercise. But, as we're in an era of overtraining, people are always surprised to learn how infrequently I work out.

I put emphasis on moving my body in a functional, remedial way in small increments throughout the day, rather than encouraging sedentary behaviour 95% of the time and then busting out an excruciating workout a couple of times a week.

When did we start to exercise to punish our bodies, instead of to strengthen them?

Our bodies need to move regularly, but it does not need to be painful or unpleasant. We shouldn't move because we hate our bodies and want to change them. We should move because we love our bodies and want to help them reach their potential.

I believe in mindful movement. Mindful movement is becoming aware of your body. It involves listening to your body and asking it what it needs (if you've been sitting at a computer all day, it might tell you your hip flexors and shoulders need to be opened, and that your glutes need to be strengthened.)

Mindful movement encourages you to move your body in a way that feels good. Throughout mindful movement we focus on loosening up the joints, putting them through their full range of motion to keep them strong and healthy. Our bodies are capable of so much, yet we never use them to their full capacity. 

Move because it feels good. Move because when your body feels good you are energised, alert and confident. Move because you love your body and you want to treat it well. Be right there in the moment while you move. Breathe into each movement. Every deep breath helps you strengthen and lengthen the muscles. Visualise the oxygen entering your body and travelling to the parts where it is needed most. 

What does a class look like?

Start with some breathing exercises to centre the body, then, slowly move on to dynamic movements to awaken and lengthen. Each movement is slow and controlled. Elements from yoga, pilates and calisthenics are incorporated to build mobility and core strength. All movements are functional and use only your body weight as resistance. Finish with a deeply relaxing guided meditation to show appreciation for your body. 

Want to learn more? Come to one of my classes. 

Ashley HuntComment