Tension, Timing and MetaboliSM— as you FEEL the BURN mindfully.

When our bodies are under tension we get hotter. This happens whether it’s tension from stress ( getting somewhere on time) or from pushing our bodies to move deeper or faster. This heat is how the body moves hormones and prepares the muscles and joints for action. Both of these activities are stressors on the body; however, one releases cortisol and other stress hormones that actually reduce your metabolic rate. A positive stressor would be intentionally asking your body for more— but staying very calm and centered while you feel the edge (burn?).

“Feel the Burn” is an old fitness adage that was meant to push people to feel that edge of "enough” (“I can’t do any more”?) in a movement and, yet—still go a little deeper. It’s true that most people don’t push themselves near enough to the edge of possibility in movement out of fear of hurting themselves: Or, they are just not willing to put forth the effort. Traditional workouts are promoted to “hurt” and their is an ego-inflating effect if you feel the pain and push past it. This dynamic creates a “practice” (“focus on”) around (delete “around”?) pain as an indicator of getting fit, or reaching goals. It’s a very old-fashioned and ineffective way to meet goals like “stress release” , “burning fat”, “toning the muscles” or “getting more flexible”. It’s a practice that also goes hand in hand for those type-A folks who use this approach of continual “pushing” or feeling pain as their workout goals, as well as family and relationship goals….In fact, pain can be something they actually create unknowingly in many areas of their lives simply because they’ve never paid attention to conditioning with other sensations turned “on”— and with a deeper attunement and practice surrounding what feels GOOD….and learning to trust that.

I know this to be true, as it’s what I did for many years coming from a traditional fitness background. It took me years of dancing mindfully to experience the deeper value of “mindful movement”— and I still need continually to remind myself that when I dance Kai® and allow slower, more mindful movement to have priority,(Suggest: “I achieve greater gains and benefits”. There is a tendency for most people to want to push when feeling extra stress or after not paying attention for a while. It’s a “purging” feeling for some…. “gotta’ burn those calories”! For others, it’s a practice of “checking out “ and (Suggest: “giving in to the unconscious need to feel something”) creating the pounding effect to feel something; for others, it can (Suggest: be the familiar pattern of inflicting self-pain to feel OK) (Delete: be a familiar self pain to feel “okay”) —which doesn’t make any sense!

The key factor, that I’ve found to be most important, is backed up by science. When we are calm, breathing deeply and feeling relaxed—we release more oxytocin…. a chemical that gives us a sense of belonging. WE FEEL CONTENT. When this hormone is released it counters the normal stress hormones. We can— and do— move (“act”?) from this place in Kai® for (precisely?) this reason. Our bodies burn calories more efficiently and the body-mind connection is deepened into the “feel good” networks that remind us we are WHOLE, CREATIVE, DYNAMIC, EXPRESSIVE and HEALTHY when we utilize our body and mind in this balanced and whole way. (Suggest: Larger font size here—perhaps w/different color)

This mindfulness also establishes a “baseline” of awareness that can help with the burn of life comes in. When we get irritated, angry, under pressure…..or when we need to “kick in “ more energy and heat we can from a place of being centered. Not caught up in the storm….simply noticing and choosing our responses. This gives more choice, more space, more health giving opportunities to co-create your life choice by choice.

Join us all month long as we explore FIRE, HEAT, Metabolism and more in Kai.

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