What do you know about intuitive movement? I would be honored to share some ways I’m currently exploring (and experimenting with) intuitive movement in my own life lately! This includes differentiating between movement and exercise, as well as some of the struggles I’ve personally encountered in this area. If you move too little, too much, or don’t tend to feel like the movement you practice is life-giving, then this is the perfect episode for you!
Movement vs. Exercise
Personally, I feel like “exercise” has a lot of attachments. We think of changing our appearance, reducing our size, working up a sweat, or burning calories. Movement, however, is just about…moving! You can do anything active that you enjoy, you can do simple things (like taking the stairs), and it’s all considered movement.
Doesn’t that sound so much less stressful?
Instead of stressing about appearance (and how my workouts are going to “change me”), now I show up fully and trust that taking part in healthy movement is going to feel good. And at the end of the day, it’s the feeling good that I genuinely value.
An exercise mindset can also push us into moving way too much. We exhaust or overwhelm our bodies, then compensate by consuming a lot of food just to keep ourselves moving. I have a number of clients that end up discovering that less “working out” and more intuitive movement that actually feels GOOD makes a huge difference in their lives.
A Big Waste of Time
I would never have gone to a “slow” yoga class when I was in my workout phase. After all, if I wasn’t vigorously moving, exhausted, dripping with sweat, or feeling sore afterwards…I hadn’t really done anything. I thought it was just a big waste of time.
Thank goodness I finally realized that my perceptions couldn’t be more wrong!
Even before I started intuitive eating, I started to realize that I could actually enjoy moving my body. When I started yoga, I loved that it didn’t have to be about changing how I looked. It cleared my mind, it made me feel good, and it eventually brought me into yoga teacher training and body awareness.
Movement is what brought me to intuitive eating, and now I move intuitively as well. It is seriously the best feeling.
Another note – just because it’s not a huge block of “exercise” time doesn’t mean it’s a waste of time.
Some of my perfectionist clients have a lot of trouble embracing movement for the simple enjoyment factor. It can be hard to embrace 5-10 minutes of enjoyable movement when you’ve grown up feeling like you have to dedicate an hour if you want it to really “count”.
Lately I’ve been attending a Zumba workout in my community center. It has been so much fun, and an amazing way
Saturdays I found a momma workout class — mom’s workout, and our toddlers run around, ride bikes, and enjoy the sunshine. Afterwards, my son and I have a little date together at a local shop.
When I was doing intense exercise workouts, I tended to dread them. I would drag myself there, do the work, and then go home and collapse on the coach.
Now I get excited about interacting with my community, I love heading out the door to class, and I come home feeling energetic and good. Practicing intuitive movement in my community is so much better for me than punishing myself with exercise.
I like to set a plan for the week…and then wake up and determine if that feels right for me. Somedays it isn’t wise to push yourself physically, emotionally, or mentally, and if there is a way to reorganize your schedule, you should!
Movement can fall into this category as well. If I thought I was going to go to Zumba, and I realize what I really need is some quiet introspective time, I might decide to take a walk instead. Or if I had intended to go for a bike ride but the weather isn’t suitable, I can switch it up and head to a yoga class. Rather than making a rigid plan and forcing my mind and body to make it happen, I leave room so I can make decisions that will help me feel my best, whatever that looks like. (Remember – there is no wrong way!)
Practice Intuitive Movement that Feels Good
If you could move your body in any way, with NO worries about appearance or weight, what would you do?
I had a client who loved swimming…but she didn’t allow herself to go because it meant wearing a swimsuit in front of others. When she released that fear and just did it, she loved it!
What kind of movement have you held yourself back from that you could you do today?
If you haven’t been moving much lately, you might look for small ways to start! Look for 5-10 minutes that you could do something – take quick walk, do some gentle yoga stretches, work in your garden, or do something that would be quick, easy, and enjoyable.
If you’re on the verge of exercise burnout, ask yourself what you can release this week. How can you start to scale back a bit and honor your body’s needs?
My Challenge to You
Choose ONE thing that you’re going to change this week, and then do it! If you need some accountability, head on over to the private Facebook group and share it with us! We’d love to help hold you accountable.
Remember that this is meant to be intuitive – make a plan, but be flexible with it. And if there is a type of movement that is hard in the moment, but makes you feel really good afterwards (burpees are mine!), don’t be afraid to do them! Just be sure to check in with yourself so you can make decisions about what you want and what will feel right on any given day.
The Food Freedom Holiday Workshop is coming!
You can sign up at caitlinball.com/holidayworkshop. (Can’t make it to the live workshop on Nov. 24th? The replay will available whenever you have the time!) Rather than stuffing yourself silly with food, cookies, and alcohol (then feeling gross and crabby all day), learn how to relax and ENJOY the holidays!