I used to write blog posts, a couple years ago. But honestly my topics were shit, and not that they’re any less shit now, but now I’m at least going to write about things that matter to me, rather than trying to write things that I think will grab people’s attention, or like, will show up at the top of Google or something. So today’s topic, aligned movement. No on’es googling that. I mean spiritually aligned- I’m not talking about stacking your shoulders over your hips or anything like that.
Ever tried to get into something because it’s popular, or a lot of people enjoy it? I spent a good chunk of my childhood and teenage years trying to be like other people, so I get the draw of “well, if THEY enjoy it…”
It seems like a lot of people who have a spiritual practice of some kind often use yoga asana as their movement practice. The beautiful, flowing movements, the strength involved in some of the more advanced poses, and the yogic traditions outside of the physical practice make it pretty attractive. I’ve tried in the past to dive into it deeply and have it be my main movement practice, but there was always something that either didn’t feel quite right about it, or I was somewhat unfulfilled.
As dumb as this sounds, I felt like the physical practice of yoga was the right thing for me to do, if I was also working on myself spiritually. Because, you know, spiritual people do specific things to be that way, right? Like, you gotta follow a plan to connect to your intuition, don’t you?
(Side note: literally the only thing that people on a spiritual journey are trying to do is foster a deep connection with their higher self/universal consciousness/whatever you call it, and get closer to an awakened state. With all the humans on the planet, and all the passions and loves and joys and paths….do you really think you have to follow a specific plan, laid out by another person, to connect with YOU? We’re all just people. Do what feels right to you. I digress.)
That’s totally backwards. The work, always, is getting present with myself and connecting to my intuition. Listening to what my inner voice is saying to me at each moment, understanding what to do and how to be more in touch with the well of wisdom and what it’s telling me.
How could I do that and do something else (yoga) that didn’t feel *right* on some level? That creates blockages between me and my ability to hear my intuition.
I’ve realized that I do love bodyweight training, just with more of a strength focus and less of a “flow” focus- looking at it more from a skills-based perspective, and working on those skills. I’m also loving working with barbells again, and applying the concept of “flowing” and stringing movements together to working with kettlebells. At least, for right now that’s how I’m enjoying it! Part of being in tune with my intuition is being totally okay with things changing.
I think what’s really important here is to find and connect with what YOU enjoy, and what makes your body feel good and strong and alive. What helps you to become totally in tune with your breath, deeply focused in the present moment?
Ultimately, I use movement to connect deeply with myself and to nature. I like having a movement practice that I can do outside in the middle of the woods if that’s what feels right to me, and training with just your bodyweight does not have to be yoga poses- unless you want it to be. Moving slowly, connecting with my breath, and feeling every inch of the movement is, for me, the practice.
So, how does this relate to you? Check in with yourself and make sure you’re completely clear on the ultimate goal behind whatever it is that you’re doing. Often for me that goal is to simply move deeper into a greater sense of freedom, peace, and presence. Engaging in a movement practice that feels right and enjoyable to me is only one doorway into that, but an important one. Be in touch with your soul when it comes to this. It’s your body.