A NY (+ Universal) Guide

Archive for the ‘movement’ Category

Movement as a Cure: Dancing

In movement on June 20, 2013 at 2:07 pm

Jeanine Abraham of JourneyDance

“I think you need to yell, and sing, and get vocal and physical.  Dance, Stomp your feet, Yell your warrior, rebel yell to the world.  Let loose. wild howl!!  Let your wild animal out!

– Amanda Young

YELL, SING, AND GET PHYSICAL

A few months ago, I found myself in a deep emotional funk. I felt sad, helpless, and lethargic. I reached out to Amanda Young, holistic health coach and founder of Urban Goddess Health. In reply to what I was feeling she said: “I think you need to yell, and sing, and get vocal and physical.  Dance, stomp your feet, yell your warrior, rebel yell to the world.  Let loose a wild howl!!  Let your wild animal out!” A few moments later, I did just that. I cranked up the volume on a Beyonce song and danced naked in my own room.

What I felt was instant joy and release. I felt like the emotions that were keeping me a prisoner to my own mind saw the light of day outside of my body.

JourneyDance

A couple of weeks later, I went to a JourneyDance workshop with Jeanine Abraham (pictured above) in Brooklyn, New York. I had experienced JourneyDance once before during Amanda’s Urban Goddess immersion course, when Jeanine had come in as a guest teacher, and the results had been amazing. Through dance, the session helps women look at their wounds and their pain, as well as their dreams and desires, in order to reconnect with their kick-ass essence.

Growing up and throughout my young adult years, I can say that dance has always been reserved to special occasions or for weekend nights at a bar. In college, it wasn’t exactly a positive experience either, as parties were socially complex for lack of better words.

A few weekends ago, I found myself at home, working on my computer, and becoming tense and anxious about a few things that were currently going on in my life. I paused and thought about how deliberate dance had helped me in certain moments of despair. So, I started to move and jiggle around in my seat. I decided to take a 15 minute break and danced away in my room. Instantly, I felt the anxiety dissolve in the motions of my limbs and my belly. Feeling my body move instead of my mind racing allowed me to gain the grip I needed in order to feel like my true self again.

TRY THIS

This weekend, I want you to take 15 minutes to dance. Pick a few of your favorite booty-shaking songs, I usually go to Beyonce or Brazilian songstress Daniela Mercury for inspiration, crank it up as much as you can, and dance. Go free, go wild. Let your limbs sway. Move your belly, shake your butt. Let your body guide you, because no one is watching you. This moment is exclusively for you and your body. The more you let go, the deeper bliss you will find from your body.

I hope you are able to experience love and joy as you feel the wonder that is your beautiful, living body.

Movement as a Cure: Walking

In movement on June 18, 2013 at 4:03 pm

Walk it out.

ADVICE FROM THE STARS…

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of having a birthday reading with New York astrologer Mecca Woods.

One point she drove home during the reading is “being proactive about letting go.” Letting go of what exactly? In my case, I’d say, worry, fear, anxiety; emotions that keep me stuck in despair, even physically at times. When do these emotions come up? Let me provide you with a context. Have you ever felt hung up on a situation or stuck on a certain conversation that you had, whether it be with a family member, a romantic partner, a co-worker, a stranger, or [fill in your own personal blank]?

If you are like me, you may find yourself rationalizing your emotions instead of simply allowing yourself to feel them, whether that emotion is joy, sadness, happiness, confusion, or sadness. You may ruminate through your thoughts, constructing an unhealthy narrative and trying to label these happenings as good or bad. If you ruminate too much, you will drive yourself into a thinking frenzy instead of just allowing yourself to feel out these emotions without label or judgment.

What Mecca suggested, something that has been prescribed to me before, is to distract yourself. It can be beneficial to find healthy distractions, not necessarily away from your emotions, but from the feelings of worry, anxiety, or fear that may surface from trying to quick-fix problems and solve what is sometimes out of your control. And truthfully in life, we will often encounter situations that are simply out of our control.

OK – so if all of this rings somewhat true, now how do you distract yourself when these emotions seem so prevalent and draining?

MOVEMENT

This is what I would like to explore this week, on a personal level, but as well as anyone who comes upon this.

According to the Harvard Medical School, a 2005 study showed that “walking fast for about 35 minutes a day five times a week or 60 minutes a day three times a week had a significant influence on mild to moderate depression symptoms.” Moreover, a regular exercise routine is just as effective as an anti-depressant in treating depression in the long-run. Check out the source here.

Cardio is definitely a blues buster. But even when you can’t access the energy to hit the gym, a simple walk could do the trick.

TRY THIS

Today or tomorrow, choose to walk part or all of your commute home, either in the morning or in the afternoon.

In this walk, you will find that thoughts may pop up, which is perfectly normal, but as you take in the scenery around you, whether it’s the hustle and bustle of the city streets, or people going about their day, try to find yourself immersed in the moment by taking in deep breaths. Stay present through breathing in and out. You can even partner with a co-worker or friend and go on a walk together. On that walk, make an effort to ask questions about the other person instead of focusing on the negative thoughts you need a distraction from.

Ultimately, you will find learn that we all encounter the same emotions, we are all human, and most importantly, we are all trying to figure it out.

So, for today, keep walking as a tool in your anxiety/fear-busting kit, tomorrow let’s explore something else. Happy Walking!

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