Conscious Fitness: Giving Yourself Permission To Be You

Photo by Matthew Wiebe

Photo by Matthew Wiebe

One of the major benefits of conscious fitness is finding the undeniable relationship between opening the body and opening the mind and spirit. As we become more in touch with ourselves on a physical level, it is easier to notice how this affects our thinking and our observations. By refining our awareness as we exercise, we are better able to observe the way we see ourselves and the world. Are we tight or are we loose and open? Are we competitive, or are we forgiving and loving when we approach our bodies and our fitness regimen? Do we accept the way we look or do we wish for another ideal? Are we focussed on the goal or are we enjoying the process as it unfolds?

Embracing Our Uniqueness

Respecting the process and where we are within it is one of the first ways to accept our individual physical state and not compare ourselves with anyone else. As we do this, we begin to embrace our uniqueness, dropping the need to be like the other and embracing the adventure of discovery as we carefully and respectfully work to open ourselves up to greater mobility.

Allowing Rather Than Forcing

Whatever fitness protocol you do, see what it feels like to not force a movement, but rather to release into it wherever you are. See how it feels to relax your muscles as you stretch, allowing the weight of your bones to open up your joints and tendons. See if you can slow down your training protocol and observe the process of becoming, rather than keeping your thoughts on the goal and using that as a measuring stick. As the creator of Body Activation and a fitness teacher for many years, I have watched countless students become more accepting of themselves and their own uniqueness through being guided to “allow” rather than force a position or movement.

Discovering What Its Like to Be You

Wherever you are at the moment is one more step towards your goal. Appreciate each step and you will learn to listen to your body and your state of mind. As you listen more deeply to yourself, you will begin to truly discover what its like to be you: what feels right, where you can push yourself a little, where you can hold back to get a more complete sense of what you are doing. Don't be in a rush.

Becoming More Yourself

As you become more familiar and accepting of yourself and your physical needs, challenges, and boundary lines, you will also find that you will be more respectful when it comes to these things in others. As you listen to yourself on a deeper level, you will become more yourself and less like the model that society or your family expects you to be. As you become more yourself, it is natural to become more relaxed, not worrying about living up to an expectation that isn't really you, and instead expanding your own uniqueness. As you discover what its like to be you, you will be able to accept others for who they are, without judgement. And as you do all of this, you will inspire others to do the same, celebrating uniqueness rather than conformity, which is makes this world infinitely more interesting and infinitely happier.