The more we move, the better we feel. Our bodies are designed to, and need to move. Of course, there is a multitude of ways to move. If the ways that you are currently moving aren’t nourishing your whole self, there’s a different way.
Here are five reasons to #movewithashley
1. To Go Deeper
We intentionally explore small movements, so that the full depth of complex movement patterns can be experienced. By slowing down, we can create new movement patterns in the brain and train muscle memory, which can be utilized when we’re carrying groceries, shoveling snow, lifting up children etc. This can help to prevent injuries and to simply feel good as we move.
By using repetition to mindfully practice small movements we increase our awareness of how our body is moving. This awareness helps us to notice and respond to messages our body sends, and increases our movement efficiency (movement efficiency = how much of the energy expended creates a successful movement).
One of my favourite things about mindful movement is that there is always another level to get to. When we master a movement, we are quickly reminded that we can take that movement and go deeper. Learning is always available to us, so with practice, as Rael Isacowitz says, “the exercises don’t get easier, they get better.”
2. To ‘Work In’
Think ‘work in’ rather than ‘work out’. I read this concept from another Pilates Teacher (I’d love to give them credit, but I can’t remember who said it). Developing awareness through a strong mind-body connection will lead to better movement both on and off the mat. As the mind-body connection builds, we generally find that exercises become more challenging.
We teach our bodies how to connect the upper and lower halves by being connected to our centre by practicing full body movements that focus on lengthening with strength and control. We challenge this concept in different planes of motion, and by adding in variations of movement patterns. This leads to light, controlled movement that feels good.
3. To Be a Feeling Human
Feeling humans are always welcome in class – that includes pain, joy, sadness, shame, anger, guilt, and grief. Not only are all people welcome, but classes are also created with the participants in mind, for maximum benefit. Need a little extra TLC to explore thoracic extension? I’ve got your back (literally and figuratively!). Need some assistance releasing stress in order to be present in your body and feel your movements at your best ability? I’ll build that right in to the class.
4. For Emotional Release
Breathwork, mindfulness, and tension release are always incorporated. It’s the perfect environment to build strength while releasing emotional and physical stress. While we work towards developing a low tension and well-functioning body, we will increase body awareness by practicing slowing down and being present in our bodies.
By practicing presence, we will begin to notice, without judgment, physical and emotional states and changes, which we may have become desensitized to for a variety of reasons. This will translate to awareness in our daily life – noticing when we’re holding unnecessary tension in our jaw or shoulders, noticing our posture, and sensing when our breathing speeds up.
5. To Be Inspired
Movement is a celebration, a gift of connection and knowing oneself, and an acceptance that we’re enough just as we are. My classes are a celebration of function, without requiring any change from our body. Why move? So you can move more… whatever that means for you and your body.