Last months blogs were all about treating your body to delicious food; this months blogs are all about feeding yourself in a different way. They will focus on the health and happiness in other areas of your life and the joy that dance, movement and exercise can bring in helping you to discover contentment amidst the chaos of modern life. This blog also contains a free online 15 minute barre workout for you to try out at home.
Physical, Mental, Spiritual and Emotional experiences can also be known as primary food. These areas of our lives can actually feed us in a different way to food itself but are just as important. Frequently we can place more emphasis on our lifestyle and activities that make us happy and relaxed and food itself can become a bit of an after thought. The nourishment that play, fun, touch, romance, intimacy, love, excitement, adventure, self expression, movement, creativity and success provides should not be underestimated and can have an equally positive impact on our health and happiness, just as eating mindfully does.
“Sometimes we are not fed by food but by the energy in our lives”(J Rosenthal, 2007).
Eating healthily is crucial to leading a happy, healthy life whether as a dancer or recreational dancer. However, other aspects that make up our life’s full picture are just as important. How healthy are our relationships? How fulfilled are our careers? How much regular, enjoyable exercise are we having, either in the studio or through other means. How does our life align with our beliefs? We can eat lots of organic food but if our job is stressful or we are in an unhealthy relationship, then our health can be compromised.
Dance, movement and exercise can help with these areas as it can provide a chance to clear the head from endless chatter, to-do-list reminders and thoughts that whirl around in our heads. For me, dance and movement provides a joy and a sense of freedom and a time to think of nothing else. It energises me on days I feel tired or low, whilst giving my body the time to gain strength and support. After, dancing I feel refreshed and able to tackle problems head on. Whether you are a dancer full time or a keen dancer in the evenings and weekends, dance is special in that it is a joyful and energetic way of exercising and provides an opportunity to be expressive; even euphoric. The beauty of dance can bond people together quickly through the use of touch, shared interest and working together. Dance offers the opportunity to increase confidence and to be intellectually and creatively stimulated.
If you can’t get to a local dance class then yoga, pilates, walking, running – any kind of exercise really, will make a difference to your overall life, happiness and health. The happier you body is, the happier your mind will be and the more nourished and well fed you will feel. This feeling will then spill out into other areas of your life. The endorphins or ‘happy hormones’ that are released when you dance and exercise will flow and your mood will likely remain more even.
When you dance and exercise, it means you will sleep better, which is incredibly powerful as it allows your body to repair and heal from every day stresses and strains. This chance to rest allows for more concentration on our work at hand, not to mention being able to think with more clarity and creativity. Look after your body by listening to its complaints, either physically or mentally and acknowledge and respect them. Your body is incredibly clever – it will give you messages when it needs attention, we just need to practice to listen to it. Dance can provide a spiritual practice and act as a form of meditation as it clears the head and allows for the chance to be mindful and hear our body when it grumbles.
Try out my basic barre class video which you can practice at home to help strengthen your body, clear your mind and be a part of your daily nourishment.
You will need a chair or worktop to hold on to (lightly)! Click on the link to give it try and I hope you enjoy it… http://youtu.be/JObOOAvyL_c
Keep in touch…