Move Like Yourself

Posted on: April 3, 2012

Although imitation remains the greatest form of flattery, it may be the quickest way to injury, exhaustion, and burnout when it comes to your personal wellness routine. One of the integral parts of becoming healthier and more fit is knowing yourself.

I read the title of my post last night in an article from Yoga Journal magazine. The article talked about a former hip-hop dancer who now owns two yoga studios where she instructs and encourages participants to “move like themselves” on the mat. By this she means, if you feel like dancing, dance; if you feel like holding a pose, hold it; do what’s right for you. I believe that the principle of moving like yourself can be applied to life on a larger scale in regards to taking part in activities that foster the growth of YOUR best self.

Personally, I know that I get cranky, bored, and frustrated when I have to play sports with balls: volleyball, softball, basketball–whatever it is, I don’t enjoy them. Therefore, these activities do not help me to grow as a person, in fact, they might prevent me from doing things that would help me grow because I will be wasting time or could (and probably will) get injured. Conversely, I almost always walk out of yoga, or return from a run with a more radiant glow. As much as I admire, star athletes and their dedication, I remain aware that I can have that same fierceness in my personal passions without adopting their specific foci.

Implement this notion in your own life by testing out different forms of exercise, tailoring it to your lifestyle and your prefererences; play by your own rules. Some example modifications to your own routine and reasons to modify are:

1) Combining a strength workout with cardio by means of intervals because you’re short on time of can’t stand the treadmill for more than 5 minutes.

2) Biking for an hour as opposed to running because your joints are sore.

3) Pulsing to the beat in Warrior II while practicing yoga to get an extra burn while feeling the beat.

4) Totally skipping a move in any fitness class because it causes you “bad pain.”

Moving on, the idea of moving like yourself should be the tagline of your diet, as well. Who wants to eat food that they condsider to be of poor quality or taste, I don’t. If I eat sugary, nonvegan, carbs I tend to “trash my day” meaning, overeat, become lethargic, and accomplish little to nothing. Therefore, I tend to avoid them more frequently than I give in to them because they don’t allow me to be my best self. Vegetables, shakeolgy, raw fruits, vegan protein like tempeh, and, yes, coffee leave me feeling alive and ready to conquer anything that comes my way.

Skip what you know will send you plummetting into a food coma and indulge in an extra serving of fruit or whatever will really get you going.

Life is about knowing your impact on the world around you and this starts with knowing yourself. So take the next few days and really examine your preferences. It will allow you to live rather than force life.


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