Move, Movement, Moving ! These words have so many meanings in different contexts but all are especially powerful as they all are vessels of change. If you are moved emotionally or moving physically or even you start a movement amongst people, you always experience transformation and change.
Realising a few seasons ago that many of my emotional stagnation derived from the lack of regular daily physical movement, I decided I wanted to be a gym goer. BUT how?
I would go through phases of yoga, pilates and other fads, joined a gym membership but only go sporadically and only to the classes. I was so disciplined in training my mind (e. Meditation ect.), but the body, not as much.
Then, I made it my intention to get strong, understand what it is to actually fully live in my body and understand what it is telling me. My intention was very clear I wanted to be a gym goer but I knew I would need help along the way. This had always been the element of my life I was unable to sustain; moving everyday with intention.
Then I met and started dating a doctor, who is now my partner and by fortune was an avid weightlifter, wellness freak and very open to spiritual and alternative process. He was kind and patient with me. Asking him to help me, was a first and big step in the right direction. I wanted to change my body and mainly get strong, feel good and look even hotter! I had had visions of what my highest potential could looks like and this was the goal.
He got me an appointment with a Personal Trainer, who weighed, measured me and my fat percentage and wrote me a program, and would do so every few months. By June, last year I had become a fully fledged gym goer much to my amazement and amusement! At first, I felt like an alien in the gym (still kinda do), like an imposter. I was slightly intimidated by all these hot bodies in spandex. That did change, now I feel included.
After this first stage my partner, Jens Kristjan wrote me a new program that suited my goals and would go to the gym with me, showing me the exercises and movements. He is studying at the C.H.E.K Institute, they offer fitness and healthcare professionals a holistic approach to health, fitness and wellbeing ( they have a great free 7- part video movement as medicine). I learnt from him, that precision in the excersises is extremely important and not lifting too heavy in the beginning! Even when doing bodyweight exercises it is important to learn the movements and correct body positioning. To get more out of doing classes in the gym, be the A-student and ask the instructor to correct you, also you can ask your body if you are doing it right. It is extremely important that you learn the correct movement and what muscles should be activated so you do not injure yourself. It took me a while to learn some movements correctly and still feel like I am perfecting them.
After starting my daily movement practice, I was experiencing extreme emotions during my workouts, at first not really understanding what was happening. I soon realised that there were muscles and parts of my body that had not been activated in a long time and I was holding unprocessed emotions, I was not only building muscles but releasing blocked emotions from my body energetically.
With that realization I started a shamanic warrior approach to lifting weights. I started drawing from my shamanic training, incorporating elements from mindfulness and my acting training. One of the practices is the audible exhale, allowing the voice to flow releasing or expressing the emotional/ physical, truly helped my body, mind and energy understand and let go. This was a complete revelation to me and I believe helped me build muscles fast. There I was, in the middle of the gym where everyone is very serious, exhaling with screams, laughs and cries..!
Another practice I incorporated, before I start my session is, connection. Connection to above and below through visualisation of cords being sent from my root chakra to the part of the earth I need to draw from that day( fire, water..) and cord of light from my crown Chakra going up to where every in the sky it wants to settle and with my perineal muscle pumping these energies into my body, through my Chakras. Letting these energies mix, settle and build in the belly and third chakra, the solar plexus (where your willpower lives), I draw from this source and visualise the muscles I am going to use in the exercise. At first, this might take a long time but once you have mastered it you will fly through this step.
SO, IF YOU WANT TO GET SERIOUS WITH MOVEMENT AND NOTICE A DIFFERENCE
- Set an Intention Why are you doing this ? To look good ? feel strong? Lose fat ? tone up ? All of the above?
- Get a Personal Trainer & a programFind a professional you connect to. If you feel comfortable let them measure you and make your program. Ask them to write a program tailored to you, exercises you find fun and tell them what you enjoy and what you like less – Watch videos of the exercises before (Kino Body is a great one to start with) and visualize you doing them, then try them without weight and slowly add the weight. Don’t try to get ahead of yourself.
- Get a Gym buddy or buddiesFind a few people to do this with, make yourself accountable to going at least 3 times a week to see and feel results. This is key while forming a new habit. And you are nourishing friendships while moving!
- Discipline I used to cringe hearing this word, but now I love it. It’s a mindset and it is truly selfcare. Always finish your program. This is important to stick to it even if it means you just do the bodyweight version in the end but finish what you started with good posture, this builds your mental strength and teaches discipline. Ask your body if it’s too heavy or you need to rest. And of course if you are injured or ill, stop immediately.
- Emotional release Take time to check in with yourself before and after a workout. What is coming up ? Where do you feel it in your body? Do you need to breathe with it ? Does it have a voice ? Even a journal if that tool helps you.A great way of doing this is Ecstatic dance – a practice of letting your body move freely to the music without judgement. My coach Witney Miller got me and my partner to practice this together. Put on loud music, and allow your body to move freely. Emotions may arise, allowing them to arise, allow them to move, to be released from your body and back to the earth.
- The Lily Pads Whitney also taught me the Lily Pad Method. A frog does not jump directly to the other side of the pond, he goes from one lily pad to the next. Everything takes steps or lily pads. You are not going to get there in one go but have measurable and achievable goals – what are your Lily pads?
If you really wanna go all the way calculate your macros nutriments- you can do this online. Finding out what amounts of food you should be eating and when, can educate you and make intuitive eating more efficient. There are so many diets out there, most are unsustainable, so figure out what is right for you. I found that intermittent fasting works really well for me, helping me lose fat and gain muscle. I fast in the morning as long as I can with water, coffee and tea. Have a small meal and a large meal in the day, fruit for snacks. Drink loads of water throughout the day. Remember if you are fasting, break your fast with nutritious foods.
- Recovery time & stretching
Stretch every time, both before and after a workout – watch videos of stretches for the muscles groups you are going to exercise or ask you PT.
You also need to take time to recover, soak in a hot tub, go to the sauna, rest and protein.
- Rest days
The day after lifting is a rest day, or active rest day but you still need to move, and stretch, 10 000 step walk or yoga is perfect. Yoga and lifting combination is amazing!
- HAVE FUN
Make it fun & suited to you. Incorporate your spiritual side to this process, invest in beautiful and comfortable gym clothes, listen to the music you truly enjoy while moving and laugh and joke with your friends. It takes 21 days for the habit to form, so enjoy the journey!