Stepping off the Mat

Feet deeply rooted in grass.
Eyes closed the wind brushes across my face.
Pausing, to take a deep breath of the fresh air.
It energises me. 

I allow my eyes to close for a moment. 
As they open I am presented with all of the inspiration and motivation I need to move my body. 

Inspired by the beauty of nature,
I have found my freedom in movement. 

Breaking from the usual structure of how I have chosen to start my previous blog posts I have begun this weeks instalment with a poem. 

Previous to this isolation period I was instructing up to 20 fitness classes per week in a studio environment. With the busy nature of my lifestyle I would often opt for using the time before or after a class for my own movement; yoga, pilates or whatever that may be. This was my routine, created out of necessity, Maximising breaks in my schedule it worked well for me at the time. 

It has been a little over ten weeks since my routine was shaken up by the covid pandemic. Temporarily waving goodbye to classes that my life revolved around and plunged, all in, to a new way of living.

Change.. it was upon me. With this, the immediate, obvious, realisation that this change would bring a new chapter in the way I live my professional and personal life.
As I am sure others (possibly you) have found, this change facilitated space to question, reassess and readjust the structure of my life.
Now this was an exciting prospect. 

Moving forwards from the initial adjustment to spending days by myself, time was now on my side – I was time rich. I have always been aware of the importance of fitness to my mindset but now there was no denying its significance. This introspection saw me commit to a new morning routine of waking up and stepping onto my yoga mat.
Using this newly established time and space to get my body moving. Sometimes to stretch, other times to strengthen and challenge. Whatever the focus the outcome was the same; I was up, I was moving.
This worked well…

My body was moving, my mind was content. What I needed now was a way of injecting more creativity and challenge into my movement, I needed it to excite me. 

Walking..

A great passion of mine, being outside makes me happy. Growing up and living near the sea I consider myself fortunate to have benefitted from its constant provision as a reliable source of happiness and inspiration.
When I am out in nature I feel creative. With nature igniting my creative side and the soothing repetitive movement that comes from walking creating a space to think. 
This observation prompted the obvious question.. why was I not practicing outside?

Perhaps, as I was used to was inside (on my mat) this apparently obvious transition just hadn’t occurred to me… Yet.
But heres the thing, if we always live by the same rules/routines we have created for ourselves without review or change are we denying ourselves new experiences?
Are we restricting our own development and progression by sticking to the familiar? 

My question to myself and the same question I will pose to you…
‘What sets you heart on fire? What inspires you, what excites you?’

For me the answer to this prompted a change in the routine I had created for myself… I stepped outside and off my mat. 

Stepping off the mat to practice is the perfect synchronicity between freedom of movement and freedom to practice wherever and whenever. Releasing you from the confines of your own four walls and the structure that this facilitates.
It encourages new creativity and expression without boundaries.
For me it reignited my excitement. 

Excitement the facilitator for progression and solid foundations for engagement and retention. 

Feel..

When I undertake any form of exercise I am very much one for promoting paying attention to ‘feel’. Frequently referring to this within my classes, asking participants ‘how does your body feel?’. Encouraging an awareness that every ‘body’ is different and therefore will have different needs. 

Over time I have developed an awareness of my own body in relation to exercise, becoming mindful of listening to its response  and using this to proactively make informed decision of how best to move and or progress. 

Something that I consider top priority when moving is how my body feels.

So, how do I feel when I practice outside? 
Simple answer: Free. 

Feeling the grass, sand, stones beneath my hands and feet I now feel more aware of my connection to the ground. The sometimes unstable nature of my base now prompting new awareness of how I hold my body up. I am discovering and embracing the extra challenge in securing my stability from the ground up as I move.

Feeling the wind in my hair and on my face I now feel myself breathe a little deeper. 
Closing my eyes every now and then to listen to the wind in the trees, my movement now resembles similar feelings I get from meditation (see last weeks post). I feel as though I am drawing directly from my surroundings to inspire where to move next. 

Feeling the space around me, the freedom in knowing that I am not restricted. I can switch off to worries of colliding with walls and allow my body to travel. Optimising all planes of movement my flows now feel more dynamic and animalistic in nature. 

Feeling excitement to walk to find new spaces to train outside, motivated through tough workouts by the very fact that I am spending time in places that set my heart on fire. Drawing on the positive associations I have with such places to drive my movement and workouts. 

Freedom..

Embracing the freedom I have over where and when I carry out my training, movement, workouts (whichever way you would like to define it) has allowed me to explore a way of moving that excites, inspires and challenges me.

My hope for this blog post is that you are encouraged to find what does the same for you, whatever that may be.. 

Ask yourself the question again: 
‘What sets you heart on fire? What inspires you, what excites you?’

Now if there is anyway you can fill your days with more of that… do it! 

Love the life you live, 
Live the life you love. 

One thought on “Stepping off the Mat

  1. It just keeps getting better and better….. I have to question if its really you 😉 its beautiful writing my darling 😘

    Like

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