Every step you take, every move you make……

Every step you take, every move you make……

I’ll be watching you so the song goes and yes if you are in my class I will be watching you, how you move, how you are feeling, how you are thinking , trying to give you the best movement experience possible— but what happens outside the fitness or pilates class environment when you are working out say at home alone or when you are in other fitness classes?

I finally managed to go for a jog tonight, hurray, after a lack of activity since before Christmas due to a niggly foot. I’ve been keeping fit doing other things but I do like an occasional jog (I could hardly say run at the pace I maintain) but it is a nice springy stride as I trundle along.

So I’m out there with no-one around. I love the tranquillity apart from dodging people and the occasional doggy doo dah! I like letting my brain go blank and just focusing on my body and how it is working. Having been injured I am thinking about every step I am taking, every move I am making because I want this to be as good an experience as possible since the injury. I also wanted to make sure my breathing did not cause tension in my neck and shoulders so I kept my mind aware of the breath flowing with the movement. I wanted my body to come back feeling happy, content, pleased with itself.

So I rethought how I started this workout. I took a few minutes to relax my shoulders, to get it into my head that this was going to be a comfortable, steady run where I told my body how good it was feeling all the way through.

As I climbed the hill that starts my run, I could feel a subtle niggle in the foot but then I questioned it and thought is it really my foot or is it a fear in my mind that I will damage it because I am using it again. From that moment on I thought about how light my legs would feel as I continued to run, how my shoulders would melt down my back as I let my breathe work with my movement. I tried to keep tension out of my body so it could relax into a good stride so I would have a spring in my step.

How often when you workout, whatever kind of workout you are doing, do you actually notice yourself? How you are feeling at that very moment? I wonder if you don’t know how you feel at the beginning of a workout, how will you know if it was successful? Will it be because you are absolutely done in afterwards — is that how you see success? Will it be that you can barely move your body because you worked it so hard? Or will it be that you got a bit of a sweat on without getting too tired?

Everyone’s different in what they associate as a good workout, aren’t they? But let’s say this, you have a niggle, yes we are all getting older so they are bound to occur, do you ever think let’s see how I can move my body differently to help it move more efficiently? Do you come out of workouts and if someone said how was that, you’d respond, it was okay?

Really! Is okay good enough?

Don’t you want to come out of a workout feeling great? I certainly do whether it be great because I am relaxed, or great because I worked at a high intensity but I know what I want out of my workout 9 times out of 10.

Give yourself a body awareness goal each time you go to workout and then go to that session full of positivity. Don’t go in there thinking oh dear this will be hard. Go in there thinking this is going to be great. I promise you it will change the dynamics of your workout.

Also maybe rethink your reactions to some things that you do. Maybe you will feel uncomfortable in a class but don’t stand there thinking this is a stupid move, make it a really good move (as long as it really isn’t a stupid move!).

Why not suggest to your body that this is going to be a really good experience. There is great power in suggestion you know.

We surely want longevity from our bodies don’t we because if we wear our body out now in our middle age, then there won’t be much left to last out into our old age and the way things are going most of us are living longer so better to live longer and stronger, than longer and unable to move around for yourself because of tension and stiffness.

So I came back from my jog invigorated, happy with myself, pleased that I had done it and adamant that this feel good factor is going to stay with me as I begin getting back into my training.

I therefore challenge you — why not have a rethink about how you train — take a look at every move you make, every breath you take and see is it the best you could possibly do? Does it make your body feel good? Does it help your body move more efficiently?

Stay as present as possible in your body and make yourself the ‘centre of your learning experience’ (to quote Franklin Method) every time you workout. It will definitely be worth your while.