Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Listen to your body NOT YOUR MIND!

Listen to your body while you workout, not your mind. 

The mind tells us to quit when something is uncomfortable.  It can take you out of the moment and put you in a pleasant state.  Like thinking about whats for dinner.  On the flip side it can tell you something is too easy and you need to go harder or add more weight (both of which are rarely the answer to your problems by the way).  The mind has so many preconceived notions about movement & exercise.  "My mother hurt her back exercising, maybe I will too".  "This famous instagram model looks sexy, I should do what she does to look like her."  The mind and emotions are not reliable feedback tools during exercise.

Instead, listen to your body.  Feel whats happening both locally and globally. Feel what's contracting, what's stretching, what's stabilizing.  Get in tune with what your WHOLE body is telling you!  (I don't mean that endorphin release you get after a HIIT class or that relaxed feeling after a calming yoga class--not that either of these things are bad). I mean for you to feel the muscle cramps, the blood pumping into the muscles, the diaphragm pulling air into the lungs, the joints being compressed and decompressed, the tension in the non moving parts, the fluidity in the moving parts etc.

Once you start FEELING things in your body, you can start to DECIPHER to what they mean, and only then can you LISTEN to what your body is saying.  A restriction in movement somewhere? Why? Lack of mobility can occur for many different reasons.  Maybe I'm tight here or weak there? A burning sensation in the quads? Why?  Maybe there is lack of oxygen to this muscle or maybe I have a pinched nerve, or maybe I'm just over dressed!  Grinding in the knees while squatting? Why? Well I'm sure you have a guess but does it necessarily mean its bad and does it necessarily mean you should stop bending your knees all together?!  I bet your mind has an opinion on it, but how does your body feel about it?!  I bet it would still like to sit down every once in while, and walk up stairs when necessary. 

Here is the problem:  WE ARE SO DISCONNECTED FROM OUR BODIES THAT WE DON'T KNOW EXACTLY WHAT WE ARE FEELING, WHERE WE ARE FEELING IT, AND WHAT IT MEANS!  The good news is that there are some great movement coaches that are available to teach you how to feel, and what the feelings mean.  Find a good movement coach.  This is what I am.

Stephen Cornely
Triad Wellness Philly