If you've been following me or have known me for a few years, you'll have noticed that the last few years I've been searching... searching for a way out of pain, searching for a way to re-connect with who I am after having 2 children, searching for myself after letting go of a yoga studio community that I missed, searching for a way to find my place within a world of yoga that no longer suited what I wanted/needed/was living. I find it funny that in all this time of looking, thinking, trying things out, learning... it was in the space of about an hour that it all seemed to clear up and the pieces all came together.
I come from a background in kinesiology, I am a self confessed body nerd as they say. I love the philosophy that yoga teaches, the old texts of the Bhagavad Gita, the Sutras... but the physical practice of asana, being on the mat, wasn't what I wanted to do anymore. Having children throws you into the unknowing of what they call the 'seventh series' in Ashtanga Yoga. It is a shit storm of craziness and sometimes you handle it well, sometimes you don't. Ideally when it all goes wrong you have enough awareness to be able to look back and learn, to evolve. I see how it is the practice that I did on my mat that helps when I am overwhelmed and turning into that 'mean mom', it is that practice that helps me step back occasionally and turn the situation around. It is also a commitment to myself and the knowledge that being outdoors, of being physical and pushing myself, that is what makes me happy, calm, and have the ability in those overwhelming situations to turn it around. I am by no means perfect and it took me over 3 years to start understanding what I needed, then another year on top of that to find some balance.
I am fortunate to have a few key supportive and intelligent people around me and in time it has all come together to what I am now calling 'Critical Movement'. The main influential foundations for this change is need to be in nature, have a playful spirit, be adaptable, and be able to look at movement in a slower but more practical sense.
Being in nature is how we as humans recharge, ground ourselves, find our breath. This doesn't mean you need to take up hiking and head out to the mountains every second day. That is not usually practical. What can work is just going outside, sitting by a tree, taking a moment to listen to leaves rustling in the wind, birds chirping, water flowing... basic sounds we usually take for granted. My kids have been in Forest School for their 'preschool' years; the way I see them grow and learn from this amazing experience is phenomenal. From their observations, to their ideas during play, all the way to how much they sing, randomly, even on the toilet... seriously, it is awesome.
In these years I've moved into my 40's, which when you are younger is a foreign concept... I've noticed that hitting 40 has been awesome. Maybe it is my attitude, maybe it is my energy, but hearing people around my age who say things like 'I'm too old for that' or 'I can't move like I used to' but it makes me a little sad. Everyone has the ability to remain playful. I want to give everyone permission to re-connect with their playful, adventurous side again. It doesn't have to mean you go skydiving or do something extreme. See what it is you can do, not looking at everything like you can't do it.
The ability to be adaptable leads straight out of being playful. How can you adapt to a movement? How can you work with an injury to continue to build strength & mobility but not aggravate? How can you adapt your use of time? As we get older we all see time flying by, we get busier, we take on more than we need... This becomes an introspective aspect of life. Needs vs. wants vs. obligations vs. responsibilities. There is advice all over the place. What helps you? What causes more work? Can that be adjusted or removed?
Movement is a key to life. Movement became our process for evolution. We needed food, we needed to figure out how to move to reach food... and the process started. If we stop moving, our bodies start shutting down. Movement itself causes many people pain, but on the flip side... if you stop moving you'll be in more pain. Between learning more about pain science, a little (really the smallest of fractions) about neuroscience, my kinesiology background, my yoga practice, my Critical Alignment practice and everything that was added in between; it turns out that it is critical to move.
Movement can be anything from learning the connections within the Critical Alignment practice, to rolling over, sitting up, running, climbing, jumping, crawling, lifting, reaching for something; all the way to the ability to become the 'more capable human' that Stefano Tripney teaches. And it is all in the mental ability to do what you can and build on that. Some of us know where to start, but many of us don't. This is where, once we've been to the massage therapists, the acupuncturists, the physiotherapists, etc... this is where Critical Movement comes in. Don't get me wrong, manual bodywork has its place and can be essentially helpful, but there is a point where these passive therapies can only take you so far. At one point, if you want to progress, you need to take that active step and jump in.
Critical Movement works with your goals and takes you to find the movement that not only works best for you, but that you enjoy doing. Walking, swimming, skiing, hiking, tennis... while we may not be able to be our competitive 20-something selves... we can still play, move and enjoy our lives.
Any more questions about Critical Movement? Come and learn with me!