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why do we move our bodies?

Movement is part of who we are

Whether your capacity (or desire) for movement is small or great, whether you're thinking of visible movement of our external bodies or "invisible" movement of our internal spaces, movement is part of being alive.

Perhaps because movement is so fundamental to life, we often don't notice it. Or we notice it when it gets in the way.

For myself, I'm inclined to notice limitations before capacities, and capacity more so when it is extraordinary. I notice difference before sameness. I notice pain before pleasure. Or at least, I would say I used to --before I started paying attention.

As a yoga and movement teacher, I tend to notice all of it these days. I look out for possibility and limitations. I look out for objectives and curiosity. I look out for joy and boredom, pain and relief. I strive to notice what biases are interwoven into my observations -- mine, society's, or the individual's.

 

Where I see movement

We move to get things done. To build a house or keep up with others.

We move to show our spirits. To dance, to play, to feel alive.

We move to stay healthy. To exercise our bodies and minds with routines that sustain us.

We move to get healthy. To create a shift or change in our bodies and minds with new movements that can challenge us.

We move to heal.

We move to feel. To release feelings, to bring on feelings.

We move to flee. To get away from ourselves and others.

We move to approach. To draw towards ourselves and others.

We move to endure. To build strength through challenge.

We move to overcome. To break barriers and build bases.

We move to be social. To feel connected and to laugh.

 

movement is something we need

And movement of all kinds! For all reasons!

As a movement teacher, sometimes my emphasis lines up with my students' -- and sometimes it doesn't, like when I show up remembering they like a challenge, and on that they day they just need to feel good in their body. The same can be true of how we approach our internal conversations about movement -- what we want to need and what we actually need don't always sync up.

I encourage you to be curious, to explore the kinds of movement that suit you (whether for health, healing, joy, or no particular reason that you know of). When you discover movement that resonates -- whether it the shape of a sport or practice or just moving without a label, let it become part of your life. Notice when you need it and when you don't.

Gradually, one move at a time, you can build your own movement resource library, just by doing and noticing.

 
Be moving, be true, be you,
esther
 
 

photo credit kristen alyce, found on unsplash

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