Updated: May 2, 2021
You’ve heard it said before that your body is a temple and I couldn’t agree more. It is the only home you will have in this lifetime for your magnificent soul. So let’s do a little spring cleaning, shall we?
We take our bodies for granted, abuse them, neglect them, wish we had the newer or better model yet still, with devotion and miraculous engineering our human bodies, find a way to continue to serve us day in and day out. Have you ever stopped to think about how many cellular processes have to happen without you thinking on a conscious level for you to be reading this now? For you to draw breath, to walk, to smile or shed a tear? I certainly didn’t have a clue until I was in graduate school and it hit me during my exercise physiology class that in order for muscles to make one contraction the amount of intra and inter cellular processes that had to occur blew my mind. And that was just one contraction! One organ system! Even as I type I can’t help but be in awe of what I am capable of in this body. Yup, I’m a geek. Pardon the riff… but seriously, have you thought about amazing you are?
I’m a unique trainer in that my focus has evolved more towards honoring the body’s miracles, It’s capacity for healing, recovery and strengthing. I’ve learned to listen and connect, to appreciate it by the way I treat it. I wasn’t always this kind to myself. Truth be told, I would tell my younger self to relax and enjoy things a bit more, to give myself a break, to stop pushing so hard, to take a nap. I’ve had to do a lot of healing and have gained some deep respect for these bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments and cells that house my soul.
The human body has the incredible power to heal itself. One of my very favorite Pilates quotes is “Change happens through movement and movement heals.” The body doesn’t ask too much from us. Simply that we feed it healthy and nutritious food, move daily in ways that feel good, drink plenty of water and get plenty of rest. Basically, we’re kinda like plants. All we need is sunshine, fresh air, water, and clean nutrients. Simple recipe for good physical health. But we humans, are not very good listeners and we can be extremely stubborn. We like our habits, our comforts, our reasons for playing small. We aren’t in tune with our body’s cues, its language, the many ways in which it tries to tell us something is off. There are many possible reasons why…trauma, conditioning, recovery from injury, or illness. We don’t always feel safe in our bodies. We push through, push down, hide, detach or punish ourselves at times instead.
I coach my clients to understand the difference between muscle work and pain, to understand the intuitive impulse towards movement as a means of healing, expression and empowerment. As a means to come home to the temple of our BE-ing in our bodies. We want muscle work, we want growth, we want strength, we want grace, vitality and energy. I am all about doing the hard work, but over the years, I’ve learned what my edge looks like and I teach my clients the same. We don't need to go to the edge every day. Just a bit of gentle tending and the body will respond in kind. Some days tending the temple of your body is a walk, other days a run, other days yoga, dancing, strength training, Pilates, a massage, reiki session or a nap. Not every day is going to feel the same inside the body. The more you listen to what your body needs, the more you can stay consistent and move with joy, from pain to power. This approach helps to build trust in your ability to do hard things you never thought possible. Tending the temple of your body is sacred work. It is more than your exercise prescription or nutrition plan. It is everything to do with how you honor, love and respect the home to the divine within you.