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  • Writer's pictureNichole Pareti

Movement as Medicine

Music pumps in your ears as sweat lightly drips down your back. Heavy rhythms cause your hips to sway in sync with the beat and your arms fly wild and unencumbered in the space surrounding you. You are connected to the moment, to the people around you, and most importantly, to yourself. You are uplifted and free.

Finding moments like these are often rare. For some, it happens dancing hard into the night. For others, it can happen while climbing a treacherous rock face or while merrily getting lost in the tending of a garden. At one point or another, we have all experienced the magical and elusive flow state brought upon by this deep mind-body connection. And it’s in this awareness that we not only have the ability to live mindfully in the moment but can take it a step further and allow it to heal our mind, body, and spirit.

Healing Your Mind and Body with Movement

It is common knowledge that by engaging in physical activity, we benefit greatly. Our heart health increases, blood cells multiply, our lungs strengthen, and our brains basically orgasm. Endorphins are flying, our prefrontal cortex is jumping for joy and suddenly we can focus. We can remember things, handle our crazy strong emotions, and even fight off anxiety and the depths of depression. Not to mention that, meanwhile, our muscles are growing stronger: protecting our bones and internal organs, lubricating our joints, and most likely making us feel fierce as hell.

Healing Your Spirit with Movement

Now, take physicality a step further and you’re entering the realm of somatics and kinesthetic intelligence. These are the sciences that specifically regard the mind-body connection. They teach us that by strengthening the relationship between our cognitive and physical selves, we result in an enlightened state of self-awareness. It’s how athletes learn to optimize performance and the ways in which professional dancers develop their artistry. It’s prioritized awareness through movement. Led by sensation and exploration, this is taking physical engagement to an entirely different level. By aligning our minds with our bodies, we can find a thoughtful and even gentle approach to our physical capabilities, all while peacefully finding freedom and autonomy through self-awareness. Spiritually, we are connected.

Personally, I view movement as a form of meditation. To heal my mind, body, and spirit, I find myself religiously coming to my yoga mat and following a particular sequence created specifically for my body’s needs and desires. It takes me all but 20 minutes, and afterward, I always feel connected and at peace. I believe that everyone can discover this form of mind-body connection; identifying it is as simple as realizing when you’re entering a state of free-flowing physical expression. Try anything. Try yoga, dance, or CrossFit. Try running or hiking in the woods. Try swimming in the ocean or skiing down a mountain. Try tantric lovemaking on a steamy night. I believe it’s imperative that we choose to heal ourselves in this manner, honor and take advantage of our natural gifts, and explore the depths of our somatic potential.

The human body is nothing short of a miracle. As our home and temple, it supports us with literally everything that we do. It is time to bring awareness to our everyday movements, how we approach life, and each other. Maintaining a healthy relationship with our physical selves is a crucial element for our existence. So I implore you— take a moment and notice the way you go about your day. The way you walk into a room and the way you engage with physical exercise. Move with purpose. Feel the way your skin tingles and the way your heart beats in your chest. Find your flow state. Heal yourself with movement.


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