So, I have discovered a new phenomenon - I actually really enjoying exercise! It's only been about a month I've been going to a new barre class several times a week, but my body is already beginning to crave this kind of movement and hard work. Somehow my brain has been able to plug into that happy mind/body place. Physically, it is more about the intensity I think. It is the most aggressive kind of exercise I have done in a very long time, even more so than when I used to go to the gym and work on the elliptical machine for an hour. The way my body feels after a barre class reminds me of how I used feel doing gymnastics, a kind of fully engaged, tough, physical workout that I also really enjoy. Very satisfying.
Since having kids I've always been more of a yoga girl shying away from the zumba craze and never really wanting to sit on a machine to lift weights. Those things just didn't appeal to me and one thing I know about myself is if it doesn't resonate, I won't do it for very long. The other thing is that I have always had the sensibility of a dancer (probably the gymnast in me too), naturally inclined to strive for that combination of strength, form and alignment. It's not about perfection, it's just where my physical body experiences the most amplitude and is happiest.
I'm also more intimately in tune with my body these days, a huge part of it having to do with making peace with my own physical sense of pleasure. It's the sort of thing that once you've let yourself free-fall into, this vulnerable kind of self acceptance and expression, being daring in other ways seems less scary. It is in part a relationship and intimacy evolution too, but it's equally a deep letting go and compassionate self-love that allows me to feel what I want to feel without guilt or inhibition.
Inhibition = Fear, and on the other side of fear is where life begins.
I know from experience and my own body's memory exactly what it feels like physically and emotionally to be in that pleasure zone of endorphins, intensity, and blissful edginess because I have pushed myself to go there and then let go, and now I recognize that same empowered sensation when I've been working out lately. It's not only addictive, it's a revelation ---> to experience the depth and breadth of your physical body, just like anything else, you need to push limits, trust intuitive wisdom, and allow yourself the room to explore and expand. You have to be willing to get vulnerable, in bed, in front of a mirror, with your partner, even, yes, in yoga pants. It doesn't matter if it's passionate work or passionate play that you're pushing through.
So the payoff is this: You can experience harmony and happiness in your body regardless of your size or shape. Another thing I know for sure is that YOU totally deserve this kind of intimate physical joy, and that the biggest truth is that this intimacy happens almost entirely... wait for it... with, yourself. Yup. Another chapter in the living-wide-awake book of self-love, I'm afraid. Maybe it's about time to ask yourself out on a hot date?