Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Intention and Embodiment

My quick definition of embodiment is "getting out of the head, moving into the body".  For me, the operative word is "MOVING". Tony Robbins  often uses the phrase "e-motion energy in motion". Embodiment for me is getting in touch with our energy in motion -our emotions- which ultimately end up running our lives no matter how hard we try to reason our way out of them using our heads.  I feel it is possible to move into them, feel them, and choose the ones we want to fuel with our energy.

My favorite mode of energy in motion is taking Dance Breaks. This Snoopy cartoon has been sent to me several times from people who know me- but do not know each other!

I love the lyrics  Taylor Swift sings "I'm just gonna shake it off". Exactly what I do with negative emotions! Besides Dance Breaks -which are for fun and pleasure!- I take Shake Breaks. Shake Breaks can begin with feelings of sadness, disappointment, anger, cravings for potato chips, chocolate cake, ice cream,etc. Results vary, but often I end up laughing at myself in a loving way. At the very least I am fully aware of my feelings and in a short time I can release them if I choose. Shake Breaks have taught me that I do not have to wallow in unhappy feelings (unless I choose to!) And sometimes I  have the chocolate!
I wish I had learned this in gym class instead of all those gruelling exercises  and all of those  competitive sports I hated. I wish I had known then how to "shake it off". I do remember one lovely substitute teacher who taught us some graceful, fluid movements and stretching  which felt good-  like dancing in slow motion.  Hers were the only gym classes I ever enjoyed. I do understand that there are many of us who LOVE competitive sports, running, really challenging weight training, challenging cardio ,etc. I actually did learn how to use my Nordic Track  ( a learning curve for me!). I even enjoy it- only with really fun upbeat rock 'n' roll! (I never miss a beat).
What I FINALLY learned from the Nordic Track was to set an intention to move my body in ways that FEEL GOOD! I have taken ballet (ages 4-14), ballroom dancing (briefly), tap dance (at an advanced age), and swing dance(at an even more advanced age!). Once I got the basic steps I really enjoyed tap and swing- but the lessons were too structured for me. I now enjoy being able to incorporate what I have learned from the lessons into my Dance Breaks.
What I have learned from all this is to set an intention to move my body so that she can make me fully aware of how I am really feeling. Moving my body is not about changing its shape, changing my weight,etc. I move to feel my energy in motion. The result is that I am stronger, and I still have good balance and energy. I have a healthy lean body mass. Without suffering. I no longer even look at blog,videos,etc. that even suggest "no pain, no gain"or "boot camp". (Tracy Campoli  has a fun challenge that is a "booty camp"-  her exercises are challenging, fun, and often based on dance moves.) I love Tiekka Tellier's Everyday Ballet, my mini trampoline(really fun to bounce with Bollywood )music, walking up and down steep hills where I live and gardening (not for the faint of heart in my landscape!).
I understand that there are beautiful athletic women who are amazing, as well as beautiful dancers who are rigorously trained and a joy to see, and women who run , weight train, work out at the gym. I can admire them and honor their path. I have learned to choose just another path. My intention is to inspire women to get their energy in motion on whatever path gets them out of their heads and moving into their bodies.
How do you get your energy in motion? Are you an athlete? Do you workout at a gym? Play competitive sports? Dance? Walk? Swim? Cycle?   I would really appreciate comments here, on Face Book or by email also on my Pinterest boards
Thank you for reading! All comments are welcome.


annabanana1987 said...

I take shake breaks too! Glad I'm not the only one :) It's such a great way to release built up energy, isn't it? When I move back to the USA I want to enroll in a tap dance class too :)

colleen said...

Wonderful, Anna! Shake Breaks are so healing. Tap dance is FUN- your body becomes a percussion instrument. I LOVE to tap! Great for co-ordination & balance,as well. Keep me posted!

Barbara Fisher said...

Hello Colleen, I was a runner once many moons ago but when I realised every run started and ended with knee pain (I ran with both knees bandaged up a lot of the time) I gave it up. Now I do Pilates, which I absolutely love and lots of walking and gardening. Balance exercises are part of the Pilates class, which is good for me because my balance is not what it was.

I’m not competitive, even the running was done for fun and to raise money for charity. I would like to dance, but I truly have two left feet. I tried ballroom dancing classes for a year or so but I just didn’t get the hang of it, the same with tai chi. It is something to do with coordination – or lack of it.

I hope the sun is shining for you,xx

colleen said...

Hi Barbara,
OH, I hope your knees do not bother you any more. I could never run. Hour glass figures are not built for speed ;^) I still love to roller skate, though!(I have elbow and knee pads -pink to match the wheels on my skates.
My trouble with structured dance like ballet, ballroom, swing and tap is that it is hard for me to get out of my head-I am worrying about getting the steps right.When I had a good dance partner who could really lead well I could relax and follow and enjoy the rhythm.I guess that is why I was so persistent with dance. I love moving in time with rhythms! I used to write out the steps and run them by my teachers so that I could "catch up" with the class by the next lesson. By performance time I was fine, though. Now I am glad I had all that training because it makes my free form moves more fun and if I like a dance routine on Youtube I can improvise it with steps I can actually do.
Walking in the countryside is still the BEST! We are both so fortunate to live in places where we can walk everyday and sometimes encounter wildlife up close!
Thank you so much for inspiring me to write a blog every week. It is a god practice !

Anonymous said...

Good for you for getting fit. I sit in my computer chair way too long, but every so often I get up and run up and down the stairs a few times, so that helps. I like walks, too. I tried a lot of dance classes when I was young, but not for many years. Fun that you still roller skate. I was always shaky on skates, but did try it again briefly a decade or so ago. :)

colleen said...

Hi Marcia! Running up and down stairs a few times sounds good to me!WALKS are fantastic because we get outside-and you live in a good place to walk, don't you? The most FUN dancing is just moving to music as you please- no rules-just fun! I am shaky on skates right now- I am wearing knee pads and elbow pads. Also skating on a wood floor- not ready for concrete yet ;^) Thank you for reading and posting a comment,Marcia!