Moving with kindness
Exercise is an interesting thing when we begin to get mindful about our movements. Especially when it comes to strength or stretching, how much do you listen to your body? The fitness industry and social conditioning can be very much geared towards bigger, harder, every day, don't stop striving, never give up, etc, etc.
But the more I practice mindful movement, the more I find that message exhausting, unnecessary not what my body actually needs, and it's interesting to note if you bring that attitude to your movement and exercise practices. Do you crack the whip over yourself to continually achieve higher and higher every time you practice? Or are you taking stock of where you are actually at in your practice, how you feel when you move and opening up into a nourishing space of listening to yourself.
We all need a purpose to practice and a goal can be something to head towards to get you moving in a health direction that you want to go. But the path is rarely straight and there will be days when pushing yourself to achieve higher than you did the day before will come at a price of exhaustion not health and wholeness.
Are you able to listen to yourself as you exercise and feel into your energy levels, which for a myriad of reasons, will not be the same as it was the last time you practiced? Maybe you'll have loads of energy and be able to do more and feel great about it, but on those days when that doesn't feel good, are you able to listen to that and honour it?
Achievement feels good, of course we want to achieve things and reach goals in our lives. But having reached your goal, there will always be another one. And what if you miss the target? does that feel good, or frustrating? Maybe let the idea of a goal be loose and soft and you will feel the benefit of less striving and more acceptance. If there is less emphasis placed on achieving then you can relax in your practice and celebrate where you are, leaving you feeling nourished no matter what the outcome.