Suddenly, everything changed, or at least that was the perception. We got sent home, isolated and overwhelmed with news about an invisible threat with very visible consequences. All of us started trying to find ways to cope with this change and the frustrations and fluctuations that came along with this “new “reality. Home workouts have become a big coping mechanism for many, but have you thought WHY you are working out at home?
Culturally, we have been living in a way that glorifies being busy, it’s almost as if not having enough time or constantly being exhausted means you are doing things right.
Now what? We have been moved to a sudden stop, and many of us feel this need to stay busy, to feel we´re still good, still productive, still worthy? But what if this pause can help us re-discover what makes us who we are, what we care about, what matters.
Where am I going with this? Physical activity has been scientifically proven to have physiological effects that improve your mood, your mental focus and concentration, optimize the functions of all your body systems, and the list goes on; but, the way we engage in physical activity can matter just as much as the actual movement. If it's coming from a place of stress, pressure, or dislike, it may sabotage all these other benefits.
I want to invite you to move if it’s something that makes you feel better, if it helps you find more energy to take on your day or maybe find more relaxation at night, if it helps you feel proud of discovering new abilities or achievements, if you have fun doing it... and not just because it’s something that fits into this expectation of “having to be” productive. Maybe you never had a chance to try a strength class and now you can fit short movement challenges into your schedule in between online responsibilities, maybe you haven’t danced like a goofball in ages, and now you can start your day like that, in your sweatpants and with a good laugh. Maybe now is the chance to take that yoga or barre class without feeling anxious that you won't fit in... maybe it’s the way to Facetime a friend and finally take a (virtual) walk around the block. Whatever the reason, I invite you to think: if it's coming out of a place of kindness and curiosity towards yourself, and if it's not, can you shift it into a way that it is?
The first principle in the yoga philosophy is Ahiṃsā, loosely translated as non-violence. This begins with yourself, being open to what you can learn or experience through moving your body, or respecting the moments when you need to rest. It can be thanking your body for what it allows you to do, or for the challenges it helps you realize you have. The more we practice this approach, the better we get at it, and hopefully it starts becoming part of the way we treat, not only ourselves, but others around us. And while we can't be in control of what is happening in the world (and we probably never have been), maybe these weeks can help us reconnect to what is truly important to us and remember our essence, and that we were and have always been worthy, no matter the level of “productivity” we were told we had to have.