By Lee Barkley
There are times in everyone’s life when we get stuck. Sometimes it’s because of anxiety, doubt, emotion, unease that cause a sort of inertia. Sometimes there is just an inability to move forward in any area of life. At times like this, any decision big or small can be hard to make. Worry and second guessing are the chorus to every step. They reach a crescendo where you’re making decisions that don’t support your goals. Sometimes, this manifests in decisions like sitting on the couch, watching a Netflix marathon. Sometimes this is accompanied by marathon eating. Usually, unhealthy foods or foods in excess. Well, because you know, ‘I deserve it.’ Often paired with “I’ll be good tomorrow.”
What this does is bury you. Deeper and deeper under heavy blankets. Sure that’s cozy in an Ohio Winter but you’ll find it that much harder to get what you want and you will miss out on the opportunities presented to you to achieve your goals and life the fulfilled life you truly desire.
In traditional yoga, there is a recognition of the Chakras (energetic centers in the body). The third Chakra, associated with the color yellow, is located around where the ribs come together in the center of the body. This chakra is associated with will and your ability to interact with the world. Basically, your will as expressed in the world. When you are in a state of inertia, your will is very weak. Imagine it as a light that is very dim and small.
To unblock this energetic center, the prescription is to move. Dance, run, walk – move. Just move. Dance and running/fast walking are especially good to get through worry, depression, anxiety. Dance directly connects you with your Spirit. It will un-suck a stubborn mindset or pattern and get you out of a funk! The forward momentum created with running/fast walking will literally make that third chakra ‘light’ glow.
How this works:
Moving gets your out of your head. If you’re walking outside, you have to focus on your surroundings. Breathing fresh hair oxygenates the cells of your body. Getting oxygen to the cells literally allows your body to calm and energize which will allow you to think more clearly. Simply getting away from a pile of work, a cluttered house, a long to-do list will allow you to come back to see things from a different perspective. Einstein said he did his best work while on walks.
Really need to get un-stuck? Get to the studio for a Zumba class will allow you to move and have fun. Fun. There, I said it. Fun. You’re an adult and you’re allowed to have fun at the gym. The secret really is it’s like our recess. Playtime that’s healthy for the body! Not only will you get the rich benefits of the movement of a walk but you will connect with your class and remember that you’re not the only once facing challenges. You all had something that day that conspired to keep you away. Connecting with your class-mates and your studio creates a community and accountability which will bring you to the studio when you might want to pull an excuse off the shelf and us it that day.
The body was made to move. Contrary to popular belief, running will not ruin your body. Nor will walking or dance. Movement heals the body. Strength training not only helps to lose weight but it will help balance your hormones (which is part of maintaining a healthy weight). Stress hormones and sex hormones included. So, the next time your instructor tells you to pick up your dumbbells, if you’ve been using the same weight for a while, increase it for that class. Your body will thank you. (Just remember sore muscles are a badge of honor.)
Another simple way that movement allows you to move forward is the endorphin high from exercise. That lovely little response will directly counter stress, a bad mood, depression and anxiety. It is healthier than a sugar high, buzz from alcohol, or temporary satiety from eating that pint of ice cream.
The way forward:
It’s simple. Get to class. Move, walk/run, dance. Be and stay active. Just try it for this Spring. You’ll feel better and I bet you find that you look better too. Set a goal for yourself to get to class 3 or 4 times a week and stick to it for a month. If you don’t like it, you can stop. You won’t regret a workout. You will only regret not going.