Updated: Mar 28, 2021
Do you remember what it was like to move as a kid? I do...If I close my eyes, I can still smell the pine scent of the trees I used to climb, feel the cold crisp air as I walked into the ice skating rink, feel what it was like riding my pink Huffy bike down the street to the candy store with my friend on the back of my seat, and feel the excitement of catching a pop up with that giant red ball playing kickball out in the street with the neighborhood kids.
I remember what it was like to just “be in the moment,” to let it all go, and hop on that sled full speed ahead, wind in my face without a care in the world.
When clients first come to me, they often come because they’re feeling pain in their body. Their movements become stiffer, more guarded, and have often lost their joy for moving that they once had.
The play has faded away. A client of mine recently told me “I used to love moving my body...then I got injured, and moving just wasn’t fun anymore, so I stopped." This is unfortunately, an all too common story.
From my experience, it usually catches up to us in our 60’s. We start realizing that it’s been so long since we moved regularly, that now everything hurts. Our activities of daily living are even becoming harder and more challenging.
The funny thing is that the part of our brain that is really good at knowing the most efficient ways to move us around, is the part of us that shines when we’re playing, sensing, and feeling. In other words, the part that lives in the moment.
The part that is less proficient at moving us is our, what I call, adult brain, or the one that says “this is probably going to hurt,” “we don’t have time for this,” how do I get this fixed?!”
When people ask me what I do, I say “I help people find their joy in movement again.” I help them rediscover the part of them that once knew, and still knows how to move us well. I help them understand that there are options available for any movement, and that the way to finding them takes a little, knowledge, trust, and maybe most importantly...a rediscovering of the girl who once was.
What if it was possible to have less pain, by having more fun instead of waiting for the pain to be gone first?
Play focused movement can help stimulate the part of our brain that knows how to move most efficiently. Try this - stand quietly for a second and notice how your body holds itself up. Notice where your weight is centered, where you feel the work, if you feel balanced, or off balance. Notice how connected in your body you feel.
Then, close your eyes and imagine you’re participating in a favorite childhood activity. This could be roller staking, bike riding, ballet, sports, etc. Notice how the way you hold yourself has changed, the amount of connection you feel, maybe even a little spark of joy comes back.
Our brains have more than one movement “program” to run. Your body may have just forgotten that it has a choice. Maybe it just needs some help finding its way back to "your joy."