The power of slowing down.
Yes, we all know it's crucial to reduce our daily stress levels.
The only way you haven't heard the ongoing talk of wellness, and de-stressing, and mindfulness, in basically every form of media we consume, is if you've ACTUALLY lived under a rock. Which in that case, feel free to stop reading here.
For the rest of us, talk about wellness is everywhere. Yoga studios on every corner offering meditation classes, workplaces instituting wellness committees, to kids in public school being taught about nutrition and healthy ways to deal with feelings. We hear almost daily about why we need to slow down, that information is readily available and everywhere we look. (it's such a trend its even affecting the way humans buy.
McDonalds has salads now, because it's collectively understood to be more wellness-y.) But sometimes it can be hard to come up with a single idea of how to slow down. Even if we're lucky enough for find ourselves in a few yoga classes, or fit in a couple guided mediations from youtube a week, so often it can turn into another thing to accomplish, another scribble on a to-do list. This leaves us feeling like "wellness failures". I do all this extra stuff! When am I going to be WELL?!
So what is "wellness?"
The answer could lie somewhere within the much discussed, but still a little fuzzy and what-actually-do-they-mean realm of the mind-body connection. Mind-Body Connection is a blanket term basically meaning something like, 'your thoughts, feelings, and habits seem to have a tangible result in your physical body".
Holistic, mindfulness in motion.
A movement practice is a hell of a good start to exploring the benefits of this connection. Getting in your body, running, practicing yoga, or sweating through your shirt from dancing will make you feel really, really good. And you may even become really, really good at a physical discipline. (Eventually. Sometimes its hard to start, but your bodies got your back and adapts. Science!) But oftentimes very shortly after we've left those classes, by the time we've stepped out of the studio, we've lost our connection to our breath, and our minds have already moved onto the next task. So what can we do?
When you walk out the door...
We can check the outside world at the door, and we can focus in on moving, with intention. We can breathe slowly and move slowly at the same time and feel the physical sensation of the rest of our lists and to-do's becoming less urgent. We can embody our practice, nice and slow.
That's where the real magic happens.
The brain starts to rewire itself and slowly, but steadily, with practice, our systems start to respond in a way that promotes peace in the body, instead of anxiety. Because slowing down, and checking in, not out, is the game changer.
So, to re-cap, movement is critical. Just as much the movement that leaves you sweating and trying to catch your breath as the movement that leaves you feeling connected and stable from the inside out. Slowing down is the new hallmark of a truly sophisticated practice, slowing down and tapping in is the new "advanced".