A Gentle Way of Moving for Women – Bringing Back the Spring in our Step
Updated: Nov 11, 2018
In a woman’s lifetime she is exposed to so many ideals, beliefs and images of how her body should look, what shape it should be, how she should walk, move and talk – how she should express herself as a woman in our modern world.
On top of that there are all the roles that she can take on in life whether she is the mother, partner, sister, daughter, girlfriend etc.
It wasn’t long ago that as young girls each one of us felt and lived with an abundance of vitality, fluidity in our movements and lightness in our way of being. For many there was a spring in our step and the joy of simply skipping through the grass and just being in our bodies came naturally. There was an exquisite delicateness that wasn’t weak. It was simply a lovely quality and the knowing and acceptance of this delicateness with knowing who we were deep inside, meant we did not need to cover that up.
There are so many changes happening in our body as we grow and develop. From the initial stages of puberty, adapting to the bodily changes of growing breasts, widening hips and uterus and ovary development, we are in a process of physical, emotional and energetic unfolding that continues throughout our life.
For the many women who choose to have children there are enormous physical changes occurring through pregnancy and childbirth as well as the roles that she plays in her day-to-day life.
Fluctuations in the hormonal levels of a woman’s body as it adapts and adjusts to all these stages in life, can also influence changes in how she feels about her body and herself.
So, with so many changes throughout a woman’s life, what happens to that spring in our step, that joy of simply living and expressing our natural and delicate strength? During periods of change there is often a disconnection to that loveliness and lightness in our body – this doesn’t have to happen but so often it does.
Although we disconnect from that loveliness and lightness in our body, that same loveliness and lightness continues to be reflected in the expressions of young girls all around us. As we watch them play, we can sometimes feel a familiarity, a knowing that we too once expressed freely with joy in all our movements, with no holding back. We might also feel that although we disconnected from this, the joy, the vitality, the delicateness and the total acceptance of being who we are is still within us simply waiting to be re-ignited.
A simple way to return to that feeling of loveliness and lightness is by reconnecting to our natural gentle quality. We all have this quality men and women, boys and girls. If we move gently as in a smooth fluid, rhythmical way, this relaxes our connective tissue and allows our body to feel fluid and light again.
Our connective tissue
Connective tissue (CT) is the fundamental tissue of our whole body. When we are a foetus developing we are this gorgeous flexible body of CT, as we grow and develop that CT specialises into brain tissue, bone tissue, muscle, ligament and cartilage tissue, all our organs, nerves and there is even CT in our cells. It provides and allows for structure, support, communication and connection. Due to its rich supply with sensory nerves and its deliberate texture it is very delicate and sensitive by nature. It loosens and elongates with gentle rhythmical movements and it becomes stiff and hard when we over strain or push with harsh sudden movements or hold on to emotional tension/stress for too long.
In the stress of life and the pressure or emotional strain we can be in, we tend to move in a quick, racy or even a hard driven way. This is registered in our CT as a threat, so it hardens or tenses in protection. This puts a compression affect on the joints, organs or tissue that are affected. If this tense state lasts for a while then there will frequently be some form of discomfort, pain and or dysfunction.
I have found in my body and in hundreds of my clients that moving gently and breathing gently, allows our CT to soften and come back to its natural fluid and flexible state. Over time this reduces the tension and compression in our bodies.
Many years ago I started to connect with more gentleness in me by feeling my natural breath in and out through my nose, when I couldn’t focus on the tip of my nose as my head was too busy I felt the beautiful rhythm of my ribs up and out with my in breath and down and in with my out breath. Once my head and nervous system were calmer I could focus on the tip of my nose and I would feel deeply calm in my body and that inner loveliness was right there. Back then and to this day, in my day, I check if my lower tummy is relaxed which allows the rib movement in my gentle breath to happen and this calms me a lot if I have been running on nervous energy.
In those earlier years I supported my body to move gently by having simple practical focal points in my day, such as opening and closing doors gently. I imagined someone sleeping in the room on the other side of the door, so it helped me to be more focused and present with what I was doing, so then my body was naturally more gentle.
When I walked I let my chest be open so my arms could move freely and I let my hips roll more in their natural curvaceous way. I could feel how my CT loved this, it loosened up my spine, there was far less effort and it was like a grease and oil change to my body.
Over the recent years my quality of gentleness has deepened and it has developed more into tenderness. But what I found in the early days is that you can never be too gentle, it does take many months, even years to move gently with more consistency as you are changing old automatic ways of moving, which may be really entrenched like a very old habit. So be patient with yourself and always remember, there is no right or wrong way.
I highly recommend giving gentle movement and gentle breathing a go, you have nothing to lose and so, so much to gain. In fact, what you do gain is priceless as the gentleness supports you to bring back the spring in your step so you can feel the absolute joy of the young girl in the body of the woman. This in return brings back the feeling of the deep loveliness we all have and supports you to love your body once again or maybe even for the first time.
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