So, I put on her favorite song. As she sat in her wheelchair, shrugging her shoulders up and down to the rhythm, she immediately lit up with joy as she found freedom with the music. She presented joy so tangibly, with such a physical presence in the room. What a great representation of joyful movement I had encountered!
Joyful movement knows no bounds; it does not discriminate. There is no right or wrong way to engage in it. The idea is to move our bodies – all bodies – in ways that promote pleasure and joy in our lives.
When pleasure becomes the focus of how we move, it can change our outlook on why we move, fueling the mind, spirit and body, no matter its size or ability. Movement can elevate mood, strengthen muscles, ease digestion, promote better sleep, alleviate stress and more. Joyful movement can help you live more freely in the body that you have, and help your body feel like home.
We get to determine how and when we move, as well as how and when we rest. We can be mindful in the way we move, becoming more present with and aware of our body. There are numerous ways to engage in joyful movement. It is completely possible to dislike exercise but love movement! Juggling may not be considered exercise, but it can be considered joyful movement. What about dancing around the house, gardening or vacuuming?
When we move, we learn to feel at home in our bodies and become more present with ourselves. When we find gratitude in our bodies, we truly live in our bodies as they are now – not how we think they should be.
Our bodies bring us life, motion and being. Celebrate all of the miracles of our bodies and appreciate the uniqueness that is you.
About the Author
Haley Mona, BS, is a graduate of Pittsburg State University with a Bachelor of Science in psychology with an emphasis in substance use. She is an intern with the Reconnect Eating Disorders Clinic as a part of her Master of Science in psychology.