Why Do a Movement & Breathing Practice?

I’ll tell you right away. One of the best reasons to do a movement and breathing practice is to discover something about yourself that you didn’t know before. This type of discovery doesn’t come from thinking, or working to figure it out. It “arises” spontaneously, effortlessly. Here’s an example from my own life:

Recently I’ve been feeling like my mind won’t sit still. Can you relate? I’m thinking of at least 3 complicated things at one time, and of course that’s leading to feelings of overwhelm and anxiety. It’s also stressing my system. Like most people, I’m consistent with my practice for awhile and then something happens to throw me off: in recent weeks, it’s been a more hectic / varied schedule that included some less-than-fun dental experiences.

To get back into my rhythm, I decided to use the Log Sheet I give to my clients. It did help; I’m back into a daily practice. And until recently, I was still thinking of many different things while practicing. But after a week of consistent practice the thought suddenly arose: “you think about things on constant repeat because you don’t trust yourself to remember the important things you need to. What if you could trust yourself to remember what’s important?”

For many many years I’ve described my memory as being “poor”.  If I”m honest with you, those aren’t the exact words…the words I actually use are much less kind! I often say “my memory is shit”. I have lists everywhere, I’m always taking crazy copious notes when I’m trying to learn something or when I have ideas about / for my clients. In fact, one of my end-of-year business tasks–which I’m taking a break from to write this–is to consolidate the various lists of all my ideas so that I can decide which programs to improve upon or which new programs to offer in the months to come.

But here’s the thing: I just accepted this idea, “my memory is shit”. I act in ways that assume this thought is true. I write everything down, I repeat what I want to remember over and over until I can write it down. Even AFTER I’ve written something down (say a yoga class plan) I rehearse it over and over and the truth is, it almost never comes out exactly as planned anyway (and I’m usually fine with that). What’s more, I have to process and manage all these notes and lists that end up everywhere.

So this new question: “what if I could trust myself to remember what’s important?” Well, let’s see. If I did have that trust in myself, a thought that occurred to me might be noted–and then I’d refocus on what I’m doing. Maybe I wouldn’t have this constant repetitive chatter in my head all the time. I’d feel calmer, more centered, less anxious, less overwhelmed. Perhaps the ideas that did arise would be clearer, better. I’d sleep better, easier, because I wouldn’t be thinking right before falling asleep. If I believe this thought, if I could trust myself, the possibilities that are open to me are very exciting!

And they ARE possible! I don’t have to believe “my memory is shit”. In fact, it’s likely that because I believe this thought, I act in ways that train my memory to be poor–e.g. by never actually USING my memory. And so it acts the way I believe it will.

Anyway, I’m telling you this story to share how consistently doing a movement and breathing practice–even if you believe you’re not 100% here–can help you discover something powerful about yourself. I hope you enjoyed it.

Do you have your own experience to share? Comment and let me know!


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