The Ponder Effect | What moves you?
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What moves you?

POST BY GUEST THINKER:  SARA CATHERINE WHEATLEY ::

In our modern world, we associate exercise with a grind.  With boredom.  With a “this is a necessary evil” kind of attitude.  What if we shifted our thoughts toward movement instead of exercise?  When I hear the words “What moves you?” I tend to think of art (like seeing Van Gogh’s self-portraits in person when my heart melted in my chest)…or music (like being brought to tears by the swelling finale of Beethoven’s 9th or embracing impromptu slow dances with my honey to the tender voice of Stevie Wonder singing ‘Overjoyed’)…or film (like that stunning scene in Philadelphia when Tom Hanks is listening to Maria Callas singing an aria and I felt so much joy and pain simultaneously).  These things move my heart and my soul.  They move me to feel something.

What would happen if we looked at exercise the same way?  What if we thought of our workouts as a chance to be moved? A chance to stir up our hearts and our souls, to make us feel something.

When I started looking at exercise this way, it had a major impact on me.  I stopped looking at my body as something that wasn’t good enough—something that could never do yoga poses quite right or burn enough calories—and started seeing my body for all that it can do.  For all the ways it can move.  And in turn, it moved me on a much deeper level.  Now, when I’m moving (in or out of the gym or studio), I’m struck by the joy a functional and healthy body brings me, and I’m in awe of just how miraculous the human body is.

What would happen if we changed our mindset from moving because we have to to moving because we can?  What if our own movement sparked joy, love and inspiration in our minds and bodies instead of boredom, self-loathing and shame?


About our guest: Sara Catherine Wheatley is a barre3 Master Trainer, Certified Health Coach, and performer (everything from musical theatre to ‘80s cover band!) based in Nashville, TN.

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7 Ponderings
  • Anonymous

    March 26, 2018 at 1:34 pm

    That’s a pretty transformative idea! Yes I love the idea of embracing movement instead of exercise. As a fellow barre3 instructor, how do you think we can also “move” “inspire” people?❤️❤️

  • Anonymous

    March 26, 2018 at 2:00 pm

    I just loved this new way of thinking… my experience is that I have never regretted moving my body, especially outside. Thanks for this beautiful invitation to think and be in the world in a new way. tallu

  • Anonymous

    March 26, 2018 at 4:18 pm

    I am a healthy, able-bodied person, but I don’t really enjoy exercise itself. What motivates me to move is seeing others do so who are are not as fortunate – those who are much older or who have limited mobility or other challenges – doing so without missing a beat. That inspires me to do better.

  • Anonymous

    March 26, 2018 at 5:42 pm

    I came to Barre3 as an out of shape, over-stressed mom of three little kids, and I intended to pound my body back into shape. But what I found, instead, was this nurturing environment that offered not just a place where I wouldn’t feel judged for my physical neglect, but a place where movement and exercise could be seen through the lens of love.

    To consider exercise as something resembling an act of love would be truly revolutionary, and to exercise with the freedom to accept that the end-goal isn’t to be skinny, but to be strong … or maybe, just simply strongER … It changed my life. I’m so grateful to be able to go forward as my girls grow into their pre-teen years and be able to share this wisdom with them.

  • Anonymous

    March 29, 2018 at 12:23 am

    I am older. (Actually old, by numbers.) Several times a week I do a class that is fairly easy for me but it tightens my core and stretches things that need to be stretched. What I truly enjoy is walking. When I walk I am moved to say thank you. Thank you that I can walk, and hear and see and talk. Walking is a good reminder of all my blessings. It moves me beyond my self.

  • Anonymous

    March 29, 2018 at 1:50 pm

    When I run, it moves me to visualizing that I am floating up outside of my body and looking down at me running. I can be the puppeteer that sees my form and pulls the strings to make little adjustments to change my technique. These little actions lead to smoother or faster running. This visualization and adjustment practice sometimes seems to cascade energy down into me, almost like goose bumps flowing down from my neck all the way down my body for a few seconds. It doesn’t always happen but when it does, it is a fantastic feeling.

  • Anonymous

    March 31, 2018 at 12:19 pm

    I begin each morning with movement. It’s a simple stretching routine—some sun salutations, moonflowers, runner’s lunge—to open up my joints and muscles, to open up my lungs, and also to open up my mind and spirit. Moving like this gets me moving and also helps me maintain stillness.