I Believe in You

Daily Movement Prompts, Thursday, April 26, 2018 edition: I Believe in You

I have to admit: Sometimes thinking about how to encourage people can be a challenge. I want to share how wonderful it is to find accomplishments even when there are limitations. I want to cheer people on to “do just one more!” when they want to quit, and see their excitement when they realize they accomplished more than they thought they could. I love conducting a “dance class” from a chair if someone has major knee trouble. Or sticking with slow moves if bouncing fast would be burdensome. Or doing my own stretches from modified postures to accomodate my own body issues.

But each of us has to make that personal choice. Each of us faces our own aches and pains, our own immunization system, our own issues as we age or recovery from injury. Each of us has different preferences for movement we enjoy and activities we detest.

No one else can *MAKE* you move or pursue activities. (And if you’re being pressured, that’s a different topic that should be addressed.)

But if there’s one thing I can say today to encourage, let it be this: I believe in you. If you want to do a thing, go do a thing! I’ll happily be your cheerleader. I’d love to applaud your accomplishments. Go be awesome.

Absolutely Worthy

Daily Movement Prompts, Wednesday, April 25, 2018 edition: Absolutely Worthy

What would change in your life today if you embraced the notion that you are absolutely worthy of love and acceptance? This body, this day? What if you chose to move your body based on a love for your body?

Growth based in love comes from your own values for self-improvement. The changes are not based in external pressure or society expectations. Instead, you make efforts based on how you love to move and which goals are currently available to you.

Even if you find yourself resisting, do you experience a sense of thankfulness after moving? “I didn’t want to go work out, but I’m glad I did! I feel better now!”

What movement could you work into today? You’re absolutely worth it.

Some or None Debate

Daily Movement Prompts, Wednesday, April 18, 2018 edition: Some or None Debate

Do you ever catch yourself arguing with yourself about whether you “have enough time” to do a workout or a rehearsal or an activity? Maybe you’d *like* to get to the gym, but with traffic, having to work late, the time to get to the gym, and the time to get home again, you just barely have enough energy to drive home safely and collapse for the evening. The gym will have to wait.

Or maybe you really wanted to work on some of the latest dance drills, choreography, or that new sword skill you saw in an online lesson. But you haven’t cleared out the living room in a while, you have that article deadline looming, and it would be easier to work in the studio.

Or maybe you’d been meaning to go for a run. But the laundry isn’t done yet, your shoes really need to be replaced, and it’s still cold and snowy out / it’s started to get hot / it’s late and you don’t feel safe running alone.

Whatever your “I just cannot do a FULL workout” argument has been lately, what about a compromise plan? Is there some way you could just put on a five-minute song and move as slow or as energetically as you like, just to have a small dance break? Or maybe you can do some of those stretches or yoga poses you’d been meaning to do. Maybe you cannot do the entire routine you’d prefer, but what if you just did a few moves, poses, or stretches? What if you climbed one flight of stairs extra? Or startle the cat and dog and jump up and down to a fun beat?

What small movement choices can you do when pressed for time? Or if you’re definitely taking today for rest and recovery, what plans could you schedule on the calendar for tomorrow, Friday, or Saturday?

Favorite Habits

Daily Movement Prompts, Friday, April 13, 2018 edition: Favorite Habits

When you find yourself successfully moving and enjoying yourself, which habits are part of those routines? Do you do best when you’ve set up your workout clothes the night before? Or if you light a nice candle before yoga? Or maybe workouts are easier if you feel good about your shoes?

I love when my feel-good habits also contribute to my feel-good workouts or movement choices. I’m always fascinated by what else motivates my friends to move and practice and pursue their favorite activities. What are your favorite habits in your pursuit of movement?

Promise Yourself

Daily Movement Prompts, Thursday, April 12, 2018 edition: Promise Yourself

I noticed something recently. Even though I sometimes schedule time for doing dance rehearsal at home, or maybe I’ve said, “I’ll go to the gym this week, probably Tuesday or Thursday,” week after week I’ve skip the appointment or the intention to go workout. Many times I had “legitimate” reasons why my schedule needed to change or be flexible. But I’ll be honest with you, sometimes I just didn’t want to go.

But then I left some clutter one day because I had to rush out the door and I came in late and exhausted, there was no way I could put it away that night. So I “promised myself” that it was all getting put away when I came home from work and teaching dance. And I did it. I really did come home, put away all the clutter, put away the folding table, and I felt proud of my work. I climbed in bed happy because I kept my promise to myself.

The next day, it felt like a beacon had been lit. I have a *huge* success rate when I “promise myself” I’m going to accomplish something, even when I have to legitimately reschedule in order to complete the task. Why not “promise myself” that I’ll do a workout before bed or “promise myself” that I’ll do a dance drill or “promise myself” that I’ll stop at the gym tonight?

Does any of this resonate for you? Are you better at follow through when you put an appointment on your calendar? or an alarm on your phone? or set a timer to go off? or “promise yourself” that you’ll complete a task? or hold yourself accountable to a partner or friend or trainer?

What would it take to help you find success today in movement?

Small Movements

Daily Movement Prompts, Tuesday, April 10, 2018 edition: Small Movements

Sometimes it’s the small movements we need to be successful in the big movements, right? Dancers, have you done a zill drill on your own in a while? Just one song, concentrating on those finger cymbals? Maybe simple, foundational dance moves and best arm posture? The original ballet Barre exercises that the most advanced dancer still drills?

Runners and walkers, hikers and climbers: Have you really *stretched* lately? Taken some dedicated time to focus on those calves, ankles, knees, hips, shoulders? Leaned into that psoas muscle?

Swimmers, lifters, and yogis — have you worked with your foam roller in a while? Done resistance stretches with elastic bands? Gotten a massage for those deep muscles?

What small work can you do today, to build your foundations? What movement can you set aside in your schedule?

I Believe in You

Daily Movement Prompts, Saturday April 7, 2018 edition: I Believe in You

Greetings friends! How will you move today? Do you have spring energy? Are you still snow bound? Are you conquering challenges? Are you listening to your body? Is it a great day for rest and recovery? Do you have struggles that could use a comforting friend?

Whatever your day, I believe in you. 💜💙💚

Finding Brightness

Daily Movement Prompts, Thursday, February 1, 2018: Finding Brightness

It can be very tough to think about going out and moving your body, engaging in exercise, or pursuing those challenging activities if you feel trapped in dark situations. You may be going through illness or injury. Maybe family life dynamics are a struggle. Finances are worrisome. Political or social climates are weighing you down. You’re could be hurting or sad or depressed. How can you think about moving at a time like this?

How do you find your bright spots in life? It’s hard to make suggestions that may resonate with you. It’s hard to think of examples that resonate with me, sometimes. But when I think about it, sometimes the little achievements help me feel better about my day. The world may have gone mad, but I managed to take five minutes for stretches or sit-ups. Or I closed the door, put on a song, and just moved abstractly as the music inspired me. Or I met up with a friend and we dashed up a flight of stairs together. We may need to heave and gasp at the top of the trail, but we did it.

What small bright spot can you add to your day today? Can you take five minutes to move and engage your body? Can you be a friend to someone else who needs a bright spot?

It is my wish that you have an additional bright spot today that gives you a small boost. You’re not alone.

Over Bridges

Daily Movement Prompts, Tuesday January 30, 2018 edition: Over Bridges

There are times when there’s a bridge in front of you, a long path, a steep staircase. Intimidating obstacles loom large. The Zen proverb says, “Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.” Few of us still have to chop wood to stay warm or carry water to stay alive in our daily lives. But there are still tasks we must face and paths to travel.

When that bridge looks frightening or that hill too tall to climb, how do you get yourself moving? How do you put your feet down and run another road? What does it take to get you back into the water for a swim? Or back into the studio for another dance practice? Or back on the bicycle for another ride?

When you do face that bridge or staircase or hill, I strongly hope that you may feel a sense of accomplishment at the end. That tackling yet another obstacle helps buoy up your confidence. Today, try taking another step towards those goals of yours.