Aggression is underlying in our culture, it lurks inside most parts of our lives and beliefs. Beliefs on what makes us healthy are influenced by a fitness industry that glorifies exercise as an all out war on the body. Pushing your performance limits, boot camps , body pump, weights, power yoga etc and a general glorification of pain serve the sports injury and remedial therapy businesses. There’s even an underlying belief that exhaustion from work and exercise are good or even a status symbol - they’re not.
You’ve probably strained and pained in; sports or martial arts, yoga and even in sitting meditation - following a ‘right way’ to use your body. Teachers tell you how to “hold it” and “push it” ; to build, work and use your body to make it conform to idealised shapes and movements - we do what they say , even if it feels unpleasant or painful. From this perspective, exercises including yoga stretching, feel limiting and uncomfortable.
The act of focussing on life and fitness goals can make us dull to how we actually feel. We often carry muscle tension and mental stress without noticing it, until it later manifests in an unhappy relationship with life or illness. How well can you notice your mental and physical tension ?
Failure to sense comfort and discomfort diminishes your connection to your self and won't promote good movement . But, sensing the ‘rightness’ of movement allows you to make intelligent adjustments and improve it. This is very different from copying the teacher or pushing your limits.
Instead of pushing, it's possible to explore rightness and wholeness in movement, to undo habitual tensions by involving the body as a an intelligent whole. When we discover this, even for a moment, there's a sense of freedom that takes us out of our small selves ... it's relaxing and therapeutic.
How? work with teachers who can help you notice your movement habits so you learn to release them - to feel natural unforced movement. Instead of pushing and pulling to the limits of your body and creating more stress, try to respect (and even love) the limitations your body has. You don't hurt what you love. It's possible to beome the authority on your body and not always do what teachers say ... to move, yourself.