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Workout Warriors Take Warning

Motivation Question

7AM fitness clients are high achievers! We’re warming up in the dark and seeing our day take shape before the sun comes up.

Holiday socializing may have overflowed into the work week and made these early workouts painful. One of my high achiever’s responded to feeling over-done by over-doing some more!

Did she believe that overriding her body’s exhaustion would make her stronger?

As her trainer, I had to help her decelerate and work with willingness rather than will. The willingness to listen rather than demand; and recognize that muscle failure is not the same thing as physical exhaustion. Muscle failure challenges a restored muscle to full capacity—till it fails. Physical exhaustion is an unrestored muscle.

Fitness resolutions need to abide by the same willingness; listen and discern between physical exhaustion and muscle failure!

Meet limitations anew each day by being present. Presence offers truth to your strength training that is both empowering and humbling.

Empowering because you experience your limitations from a place of respect. Meeting your limits, not beating your last performance, is the definition of self-love. Overriding your limits is the definition of self-betrayal.

Humbling because it’s a “real” exchange. Not with what you can and can’t do, but with what you’re willing or not willing to do.

My client was willing to exhaust herself further, escalate her body’s tension and beat up her self-worth over how heavy a dumbbell was and how hard she could drive herself. The question becomes, are you willing to sacrifice yourself—your wellbeing—to feed what you think “should be” versus what actually is.

Stop thinking and feel! Train for relaxed strength, and leave the tension of self-betrayal in 2019!

When You’re Aligned, You’re Never Alone

Search For Nothing and Find Everything

 

Do you experience your body as a spiritual instrument or a mechanical frame?

If we recognize “spiritual” as a connection with the greater whole––Creation––and the body’s relationship with gravity as a connection with the Universe, then our physical relationship with gravity is a spiritual practice. Our physical posture is a part of Nature’s spiritual artistry.

This has been my experience since childhood. When I’m aligned I’m never alone.

As a young girl I was traumatized regularly and would regularly disassociate—leave my reality without warning—into an altered-reality. I would find my self rescued from my tension-filled curled up body and suddenly be ease-fully stretched between Earth and Sky. I experienced myself as an energy-body, bones in a relaxed stretch and muscles surrendered to accommodate this stretch.

This altered-reality felt safe, connected and relevant. So, when I realized chasing those feeling in my reality was futile, I set out to find them through my body’s ease-filled stretch between Earth and Sky.

Embodying, what I now call, Neutral Alignment became my life’s mission.

Alignment asks our bones to be neutral—central—in our muscles’ intricate cocoon. Neutral by definition is resistant-free and the absence of resistance is sensation-free. Because of this we experience Neutral Alignment as nothingness.

But in this nothingness there is an energetic exchange that makes us whole.

Our bones, when aligned with gravity, become an energy antenna that channel’s gravity’s force through its structure, conserving and strengthening our energy’s flow. This channel of force is Source energy that recharges our resources––our mind and body––and it connects us to all that is.

This energy exchange is the REAL World Wide Web!

This energy exchange introduced me to a spiritual life without setting out on a spiritual quest.

Strength training has been the most influential game-changer in establishing Neutral Alignment. Even more than ballet class! I witness how my physical relationship with an outside resistance mirrors what I emotionally resist in my life story. This emotional resistance being the root of my body’s tension and misalignment.

For example:
• When I catch myself trying to dominate resistance in the gym, I realize I’m trying to trump uncomfortable feelings with physical aggression, in the hopes of restoring my self-worth or rightness. I may be able to dominate a dumbbell, but I’ve lost myself in the process!

So instead:
• I connect to resistance like a handshake. Rather than focusing my attention on dominating the challenge, my primary concern is to align my bones ease-fully between Earth and Sky. This connects me to me first! Then, to maintain my alignment through a challenge, I connect with the outside resistance with equal degrees of muscular contraction and muscular release. The places I struggle to release muscularly make me aware of the places I’m reactive, so I can break the pattern. Strength training challenges become tension releasing opportunities.

Weakness is not the opposite of strength, tension is.

Strength is a willingness to feel into the tension that obscures your body’s posture, and to trust the inherent wisdom urging you to surrender it. Strength training is using as much conviction to connect with resistance, as you have strove to dominate resistance.

To dominate—to value only our end goal—is to miss out on what could be learned from our vulnerability. This curiosity about vulnerability is the undercurrent of our strength and unravels the tension causing our pain.

Neutral Alignment introduces me to the resilience and wonder of my strength. It unmasks underlying beliefs so I can consider them and create positive change.

This is why we feel better when we workout. It’s not just about endorphins and oxygenation of red blood cells. It’s about shifting the tension template of our life story into greater alignment with our present lives.

Your workouts can teach you to be competitive and tough; or they can give meaning to your life.

 

Learn more about alignment and strength in The Art of Strength: Sculpt the Body ~ Train the Mind

 

Are You Aligned With Your Strength or Your Tension?

When we work from strength we feel strong. When we work from tension we feel weak.

How do you feel today? 

Let’s say strong is a connectedness between your self and a challenge that leaves you feeling successful; and weak is a separation between your self and a challenge that leaves you feeling unsuccessful. The cause of separation in weakness is often due to the mind and body having a different perspective about what you are intending to do. Inner ambivalence exhausts your allegiance.

Your mind is motivated to workout; your body feels self conscious working out.
The result: 18% of gym members don’t show up at the gym.
Your mind wants to eat healthy; your body feels punished eating healthy.
The result: 68% of Americans are overweight or obese.

Mind body ambivalence creates tension filled patterns in your physical performance and mental response to challenge. To connect with your strength rather than your tension, first take a moment to focus inward. Recognize your mental, emotional, and physical condition. Take a breath. Widen back in your mind, release stress through the occipital hollows at the base of your skull. Breath again. Reorganize the body, relax muscular tension so you experience the bones weight. Then, surrender your mind and body into each other until you are OK with who you are now and who you are becoming. Begin connecting to your challenge from this place and an internal strength is coupled with an external expanse that inspires you into the challenge.

Strength is excavated out of tension.