I have lately observed that there are certain times when my exercise rhythm is off or non-existent, and when I get so caught up in the ‘busyness’ of my day and the many things that I feel I’m responsible for or that need completing (ie. work, family etc.), that my exercise routine seems to be one of the first things that gets neglected.
I noticed that the busier I was, the more I was neglecting my exercise rhythm and routine… and the longer the gaps were between exercising. To add to this, I was also feeling more tired – which seemed to exacerbate the desire to even do any exercise in the first place, even if I did have time!
I was recently offered the opportunity to join a 4 week online exercise program offered by Danielle Pirera (Re-Connect Exercise), and even though I’ve enjoyed attending these classes in the past, my first response was “I haven’t got time!” There was no pressure to commit either way, however I was presented with the possibility that the exercise classes would actually be an opportunity to support me with everything else I was doing. I could feel that deep down this was absolutely true and that neglecting my exercise rhythm was neither feeling right nor supporting me in my day, so it became an easy choice to join the online program and make a specific commitment to completing one 45 min exercise group class each week.
What I have found most supportive is that the exercise program is presented in a way that encourages connection with my body – feeling how I want to exercise on each particular day – which I’ve found varies from week to week.
The exercise program has not been about doing the exercises a certain way, at a certain pace or level of intensity or how many reps or even doing the exercise the same way as Danielle, the presenter. In fact I’ve felt encouraged to simply feel my body moving, and to feel what’s right in every exercise. Led by example, the focus has not been on the technique of the exercise, but simply staying connected to my body and the quality of the movements.
In this, I’m learning more and more that exercise is not about what I do or how many or for how long, but ‘how’ I do it. And the other thing I’m learning is to not make my exercise routine so serious (!) …. to keep it light and playful.
With each exercise group I’ve felt how important it is to do what feels right for me in that particular session. By being encouraged to focus on this and committing to the exercise group every week, I’ve also found that my exercise rhythm outside of the classes is much more accessible and realistic. For example, if I had felt pressured or an expectation that I had to do ½ hour’s exercise every day, I would probably consider skipping exercise altogether! However for me, committing to 10-15 minutes, 2 times a week is something that is manageable and a great place for me to start.
This has also helped me realise that it’s the commitment and connection to myself that’s important as the foundation for exercise, not necessarily the amount of time spent.
I have found these exercise groups provide a true inspiration of a connected way of exercising, supported by the fact that they are taught by example. For example, it’s not uncommon for Danielle to express that her body feels a bit stiff and sore on that particular day and that she is going to move a little slower or not stretch so high, while at the same time providing support and suggestions for others to move faster or make their movements larger if that’s what they feel in their body.
In moments like these, I am being offered the opportunity and inspiration to honour my own body in exactly the same way, whether it’s to take the exercise more gently or increase to an intensity I feel is right for me. Exercising this way is a totally different way of exercising than I have ever experienced before. To have a fitness trainer teach and present this way – in a way that honours her own body – is not only unheard of, but is deeply inspiring as a true way to exercise.
I am still establishing the depth of the connection with my body, but am now starting to feel more of a quality and presence in my exercise routine and exercise rhythm.
With each exercise class I am learning how important it is to honour what I feel in my body, and not to exercise according to a set structure, technique or time frame or with an outcome of achieving a set result.
As I commit to my exercise rhythm I am experiencing more and more how this supports me in all of the other things I need to do in a day. I have more energy and am feeling less tired, supported by my exercise routine that is teaching me to connect to my body and be more present with Me.
By Angela Perin, aged 48, Brisbane
It’s fantastic to read everybody’s comments about exercising in a connected and gentle way, that truly honours the body. There is nowhere else presenting this way of exercise, and it’s only possible for me to share this with Re-Connect Exercise because I had the initial opportunity to feel that there is a connected, gentle and honouring way of being with my body in all that I do, not just in exercise. Thanks to The Way of The Livingness, Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine for sharing this way of living, and that we can all access it in any moment we choose. Keep up the awesome comments everyone, it’s super powerful for all to feel that there is another way to exercise, that is fun and enjoyable and honouring of a gentle and vital body.
Beautiful Daniel – turning the exercise and fitness world on it’s head and bringing in the re-connected way.
I too love the way that exercise makes me feel afterwards and how much it supports me in my day. It is this that inspires me to continue and include different types of physical activity in my week depending on what is going to best support me at the time.
A great article Angela. “With each exercise class I am learning how important it is to honour what I feel in my body, and not to exercise according to a set structure, technique or time frame or with an outcome of achieving a set result.”
I am now feeling and unfolding more and more what this really means and find it is super important to really feel MY body when exercising and not just go along with what my head wants to do or what others may be capable of.
I experienced a completely different type of exercise today, one without an outcome of putting on muscle or something that i “should” do but instead one that helped me build a real connection with my body. It is completely different to feel and I am inspired to do as this title of the blog says and develop a true exercise rhythm.
Gentle exercise is definitely a great way to connect in with yourself and Danielle Pirera’s exercises are just what your body needs and at your own pace and rhythm. It’s a recipe for great connection with your body and what it needs.
I too was inspired by Danielle’s Re-Connect Exercise program and it is the first one I have ever manged to stick to, because it honours the fact that we feel different from day to day and that one size does not fit all.
One size definitely does not fit all – great comment Gabriele! Listening to our bodies is the key to fully living all of us.
The beauty of body exercise to me is: to collect many different exercises and skills to be able to use the combination I need the day I’m training. That is the most proper workout I can offer my body. Because I allow it to decide what it needs. It’s absolute true: one size doesn’t fit all.
What a great sharing and learning Angela. I can relate to that cycle that we can get our selves into at times by being busy the exercise is compromised. love how you have taken the pressure off by committing to what is manageable like 10-15 mins twice a week to start with. I also love how the focus is on the ‘How’ the exercise is done rather than the what and how much.
I have the same experience as you Angela, I had an on off relationship with exercising. Exercising for me was pushing my body in a hard and disconnected way, never have felt the joy of exercising in a way that honoured my body. In my program with Danielle Pereira I discovered how I can do this movements in my pace, my way and intensity. I have let go of the hard way, this was really punishing my body and serious matter. To be honest my excercise routine is still not consistent but always light and playful.
I have been beginning to exercise in this way but lately the old rigid “get it done” attitude has been creeping in and has actually prevented me doing any of my regular exercise routine at all. I work as a gardener so I get a lot of physical activity in my day and am often physically tired at the end of the day.
Thank you Angela for reminding me that my exercise is more about my loving, nurturing commitment and connection to myself than any of the actual physical activity.
Reading this I keep thinking mmm exercise what exercise routine or rhythm?? It is funny that we sometimes neglect one of the most fundamental things that support us, perhaps if we made it more about fun and not so mental
It is crazy that when things get busier or more intense in life the first things we drop off are our most supportive habits and activities! Usually when we feel pushed for time we exercise less, the diet takes a nose dive, we sleep less, we meditate less, all in the belief that it will buy us time to get more done. But what about the quality of what we are doing? And surely when we are most under pressure we should actually make MORE time for things that support our body not less?
This is so true, Andrew – it requires a turnaround in our thinking and understanding that when we take time out to support ourselves in these simple ways, the quality of everything we do increases.
Great blog Angela! It supports me to make an even stronger commitment and to stick to regular exercising as I can feel how it really supports me to get through my day. I actually have a tendency to let myself flop a bit on my day off, which isn’t really very supportive. However I agree this only applies when I make my exercise program about connecting with myself. It makes it also a lot more fun!
Great points you have made Angela about the importance and benefits of regular and gentle exercise
Thank you Angela for your inspiring blog. I was reading it going ‘yes, yes, yes’ I could relate and agree with everything. I so enjoy exercising like this and when I do feel like I did in my body as a young girl. Not the hardness or have to’s or push, but making it playful. No set agenda or outcome. I also never considered before exercising with Re-Connect Exercise feeling wether my body would like to exercise faster or slow. The ‘I haven’t got time’ has snuck in again, so this has been a great reminder.
I could feel as I read your blog Angela that we so often have this belief that when we are busy etc and feeling the need for support to re-connect back to ourselves, that exercise could be able to help. I know that in the past exercise has been something that has taken me away from my connection with myself. Perhaps we sometimes carry tension around exercise, which is something the body needs to support it, but we have not been shown how it can be done in a true way that does support it.
Hi Angela, Thank you for what you have shared as I can relate. I recently joined a gym and much to the dismay of the Gym Instructor/Owner I am honouring what I feel in my body and not exercising to any set program. I walk out knowing my body has enjoyed the gentle work whilst benefiting from it. No more blood sweat and tears now its connecting, gentle land loving.
Exercise is a massive topic and there is a huge stumbling block for many committing to exercise. I would imagine it would be a huge revelation for so many, as it has been for me that it is more in the quality I bring to my exercise than the amount or pace that I workout at. Your point about being tired is also a massive consideration, this along with time, being a huge reason many don’t exercise, but when we are tired exercise doesn’t need to be avoided, and I have found taking it easy but still doing some is massively supportive.
I agree, Stephen, through our UK Winter, when I have felt cold and stiff, there has been a huge resistance to doing any form of exercise for myself, except the occasional walk or brief swim in a lovely warm local indoor pool. My mind knows that my body would benefit from a few minutes of gentle exercise each day but overrides it with a ‘ugh I can’t be bothered’ or, ‘I haven’t got the time’ and I don’t do it, even though I know it feels great when I do. I tend to stretch only when I feel stiff but that’s crazy, because if I did a few minutes each day, it would support my body and I would be less stiff in the first place. We need Prevention not Cure! What has helped me recently is attending a weekly exercise class, where we work as group and in pairs, which is practical, social and great fun to do. I feel inspired to make time for that, and it inspires me to do more each day at home on my own, which is great.
Yes I so agree Stephen when you say – “…it is more in the quality I bring to my exercise.” I have felt too a massive shift in how it feels when I exercise or go to the Gym, being very present to my body and my breath. Whereas before it was a ‘I must go to the Gym and do my stuff’, it is now a joyful time for me in connection with my body.
Great sharing Angela highlighting not only the importance of exercise and rythmn but the listening to our bodies and feeling what it is truly telling us . Exercise has changed for me so much since knowing Universal Medicine and working with my body honouring all I feel has had amazing benefits to my body my energy, vitality and commitment to both myself and everyone around me.
After reading your beautiful blog Angela and comment by Danielle Pirera, I really feel inspired to make time in the day even if its 10-15 mins to exercise ,as I have been caught up in the doing and then felt too tired to want to exercise. But I feel this to have been a distraction so I don’t take time out to stop, connect to my body and gently move by body as I feel to do.
Angela I can absolutely relate to what you describe. In the past I thought that when I do less than 30 minutes it doesn´t make sense at all and then I skipped my exercising completely. Or when I didn´t feel well and vital I skipped it, too. But now, also inspired by Danielle Pirera, I learned that re-connecting to my body allows me to feel what my body needs in that moment. And I experience that I feel better and more vital after doing some exercises even or especially when I didn´t feel well and vital before I started.
I too have re-imprinted the reason and the way I exercise and this has had a huge impact on my health and well-being. In the past the sole purpose of exercising was to loose weight. Now it is to connect with my body and for support to be able to work the long hours that I do daily. There are periods of my life where I think “I do not have the time” to exercise and I have noticed that I do not have the same vitality and stamina when I give into these thoughts.
It absolutely is an inspiration to have someone who has trained in the sport and exercise field who actually does consider how important it is to care for the body and reconnect to how it feels. a great blog that inspires true health and well being “To have a fitness trainer teach and present this way – in a way that honours her own body – is not only unheard of, but is deeply inspiring as a true way to exercise.”
My daughter and I have just done a Rumba class tonight for the first time in over 2 years. I kept checking back with how my body was going and being mind full of me and moving for me. I didn’t get tired and I felt refreshed instead of exhausted. Reading your story reminded me of the difference on how I would have exercised in the past. A mirror image of the instructors moves, the highest intensity option. Force myself to not miss a class now that I have started the exercise routine. Comparing my fitness with others in the background.
This time I went to have fun and have a dance with my daughter. As opposed to training for the next Olympics. When is my next class? I don’t know, I’m sure my body will tell me. Thank you Angela I enjoyed reading your story.
I agree Angela there is such a huge marked difference in feeling when we choose to exercise in the way you have described, from our bodies. No comparison to anyone , no having to be a certain way, or feeling we should do this or do that, or be there for x amount of time, there’s no pressure, no pain, no imposing or push. Just the simplicity and joy of being with ourselves and honouring what and how we feel on any given moment or day. Again it comes back to ( as so much of the presentation form Universal Medicine share) connecting to our body and feeling what feels true for us and exercising / living from there. Whether it be a gentle walk, a swim, some light weights or a gentle stretch. What I also love is that absolute fact it undoubtably inspires others to live in the same way.
Great blog thank you Angela. Before doing the Re-connect classes with Danielle Pirera I had many years of being disciplined and pushing my body whilst exercising. Your article provides a timely reminder to exercise on impulse from the body with gentleness and connection to yourself. As you point out keeping exercise light and fun is a key to consistent commitment.
Wow! I love the revelation you share, Angela, about, ” It’s the commitment and connection to myself that’s important as the foundation for exercise, not necessarily the amount of time spent.” I also came from a place of “three times a week, minimum of 30 mins each session,” but what you share here is totally different to that. Exercising to learn to honour one’s body rather than to push it to its limit: that’s awesome.
Yes Angela it is so common to get caught up in the catch 22 of being super busy, feeling tired, and negating a regular exercise (that would actually help to improve your vitality and give you more energy for your busy life). It is great to read how your commitment to an exercise program that supported your body to overcame this modern day malaise.
Thank you Angela. This is a great reminder to feel into what is needed in terms of exercise each day rather than follow a set routine.
Cindy it’s interesting how comfortable it can be to follow a routine but with exercise it’s becoming far more enjoyable to do what is felt on the day.
I fully agree David and Cindy, I find when I go to the Gym to work with my trainer, he might have a set routine worked out for me, however when I feel this is not what my body feels is needed, then I will communicate that to him – it’s actually lovely because he has now learnt to flow with this and alter what he had in mind – as well as starting to ask questions – so a beautiful sharing is taking place more and more between him and I , all because often I say – my body does not feel to do this right now can we please do this differently.
Exercising on impulse from your body is far more powerful and loving than feeling as if you have to stick to a certain routine etc. Confirming blog.
I can so relate to what you have shared here Angela. Especially the part where the more busy you get, the more you have on, it seems that exercise is what gets left behind first. And then the tiredness kicks in etc etc. I definitely feel more energised when I give myself the time aside for 10-15 minutes of a little cardio fun in my lounge room, or a walk where I can engage with nature and the ‘magic of God’ all around me. Even getting down on the mat for some stretching and strengthening exercises for my body feels so amazing to do, and yet, yes, sometimes I push them aside for ‘other, so called more important things’. What I get from your blog, and from my own experience is that it really comes back to a commitment we make for ourselves. Thank you for sharing.
I can relate very well to your article. I was used to fixed programs with exercises with a fixed number of movements on certain days. It was a mental choice to keep on following these programs and had nothing to do with how my body felt on a particular day. Pure mental discipline and there was no joy in it whatsoever. Now when I exercise I am present in my body and don’t think about other things. I feel how my body feels and adjust the exercises accordingly. After having stopped exercising in the old way for a couple of years I picked it up in the new way and I love it.
Like Angela, I too had put off exercising – in my case for about a decade. A health problem finally prompted me to take the need to exercise seriously and as a result, over a year ago I joined a gym and haven’t looked backed. In hindsight I see I was under-committed to myself, my body and life in general, with a cavalier and irresponsible (and head in the sand) attitude to it all. I too have attended sessions with Danielle Pirera and these have been extremely helpful for ensuring I stay connected with my body and work at my pace, which pretty much runs counter to how exercise is approached in the gym environment.
I agree, it’s a great topic. Expanding on ‘when it all goes pear-shaped’, for me exercise became something to avoid not only when it became involuntary and competitive (at school), but when it was firmly linked at quite a young age (at home, and then in the school environment) to my weight and body image. I recall also hearing it was not OK to not be physical, to simply be still in my own body. Returning to exercise now has been an opportunity to reconnect with the joyful place Danielle Pirera describes – the time when I naturally ran about, jumped in pools and did cartwheels – at my own pace and in my own way, knowing that my innate stillness provides the platform from which I can then move.
This is beautiful Victoria, ‘Returning to exercise now has been an opportunity to reconnect with the joyful place Danielle Pirera describes – the time when I naturally ran about, jumped in pools and did cartwheels – at my own pace and in my own way,’ it is so lovely to have this reminder of how I exercised naturally as a child and the joy I felt in my body, this changed with having to exercise a certain way at school that always felt hard, competitive and was no fun at all. I feel inspired to connect back to this joyful, natural way of exercising.
Angela I can totally relate to all you are saying, it is like I myself wrote this blog! I have also attended online exercise programs with Re-connect Exercise and it has been an amazing experience. I always thought that to exercise you needed to push your body to the limit really until I was red and sweaty, otherwise I would not have been truly exercising! I did not really enjoy this pushy exercise way, and for a long time I did not exercise at all because of that.
I got introduced to the Gentle Exercise classes by Danielle Pirera and loved them straight away. They are first and foremost a lot of fun, making it light and playful is something I learned. I also learned to be moving gently without pushing my body to do something or get the ten of a certain move done. Just feeling what is needed every time. When I exercise in this way in the morning I feel more vital and joyful in my day. It is truly amazing that these gentle exercises make me feel so much more vital then the pushy ones I used to do.
Angela, your blog has been a good reminder to me as I have recently got so busy that I have not given myself the time ‘to honour what I feel in my body’. I have been caught up in getting things done and leaving myself behind. Exercise does help me come back to my body but I am seeing that I cannot rely on it to do that for me. I need to take responsibility every moment to listen to my body and be with myself in whatever I do. When that happens I have less need of exercise as a prop and if I am exercising I am doing it because it is what is needed in the moment not because of what I might get out of it as a result.
That rang a bell, Angela! The pressure I had put on myself to have to do my exercises on a daily base and for at least half an hour killed all my fun and playfulness and the loving will to do it for me. I found myself kicking it off my daily plan very easy as well. Your choice to take small steps first is very inspiring and get’s me right on the floor to start a lovely training session*
I noticed that during exercise, there is still the old pattern that kicks back into gear. I used to have the set routine of reps and counting to progress through the training session. Now days I can hear the one in my head and can catch it at two, stop, feel my body then move again after a slight adjustment. It works a treat. These days I now ensure that when I swipe myself into the gym and hear the noise the machine makes, I make sure I can feel my feet and feel my breath in preparation for setting a rhythm for the workout. It’s great to continually refine the session and know that it may not be perfect, but a lovely evolution and foundation is being laid.
Gill I really relate to what you said here about that feeling of dragging the body along. I have lately been really focusing on placing my feet so tenderly on the ground when I go for a walk – as I had noticed that the quality I was often in made me just plod along with a heaviness and clunkiness in my feet. This shift in awareness and choice of the quality of my steps makes all the difference. walking now is a truly graceful experience.
Angela – what a revelation that it is not the time spent as much as the commitment and connections to ourselves that is what the foundations of exercise is all about. I have always felt I must watch the clock when exercising to make sure it is at least X amount of time – 30 or 45 or 60 minutes – and that always felt so limiting and often like I had to push to get to this magic number. To exercise with the focus being to connect with me I can feel that – while I may take a 10 minute walk or a 2 hour walk, – it will not be with that feeling of the clock controlling the length, but rather my own body letting me know when it is complete.
“The commitment and connection to myself that’s important as the foundation for exercise”. Angela this is gold for me.
I Love this Angela, so simple really when we consider that everything needs equal and constant energy – not just the parts in our life that seemingly shout loudest. Commitment and honouring this is the key.