Monday, 8 June 2015

Mind, Body, Spirit - Finding a path back to fitness

 A time when I felt truly at peace with myself

Recently, I've come to a new understanding of how important it is to keep a healthy mind, body, spirit connection. I came to this understanding through my midwifery studies, when I realised how holistic most indigenous models of health are, and how we are missing crucial aspects of mental and spiritual health in western medicine. Excuse me for sounding like some yogic hippy, but honestly, it feels really good to find that connection between mind, body and spirit and work on maintaining it. This connection may be maintained in different ways for different people, and its about what works for you, but for me, this connection is nurtured through a mix of swimming, yoga and creative output, as well as the work that I so love - my midwifery studies.

I've never been one for willful exercise, but lately, in a desperate effort to ease the pain of fibromyalgia and start feeling good about myself again, I took to swimming. In my early teen years, I used to swim a couple of kilometres a day in the local pool over summer, but then I became an angsty teen who liked her sleep too much for swimming training, and my one form of exercise stopped. It's been over 5 years since I last swam two kilometres without stopping, but last week I donned a pair of goggles and hopped back in the pool again. It was hard. I needed to stop every two laps and I only made it 300 metres all up, but the rush of endorphins it gave me convinced me that swimming was the missing link in my life. The busyness of last week (and the cold) kept me out of the pool, but yesterday I hopped back in again and managed 500 metres, stopping less than I needed to last week as well. Progress in just two sessions! I like doing things that give quick results, and I think working towards my goal of being able to swim two kilometres without stopping will be really good for me, physically as well as mentally.

To compliment my swimming, I've decided to take up yoga again, and alternate the two forms of exercise each day. Yoga has really helped me in the past to ease my pain, and has also been really instrumental when I've been through bouts of depression, to help ease my mind and get me mentally healthy again. I'll be doing Yoga with Adriene's 30 Days of Yoga spread out over the next 60 days, alternated with swimming laps in the pool, and I'm hoping to reach my 2km without stopping goal by then. I did the first day's yoga today and am feeling really at peace afterward, as well as being grateful to have stretched out some of the tightness in my legs from swimming yesterday.

While I don't totally hate the way I look (I'm pretty genetically blessed, really) I certainly have been feeling a little frumpy lately, and I'm hoping that as well as keeping me healthy, swimming and yoga might just tighten up my loose tum and bottom a little bit, too. I'll be posting about my exercise journey sporadically over the next two months, as well as other pursuits that feed into my mind, body, spirit connection to keep myself accountable and document this journey as well, so keep your eye out for my next post on spiritual health and what that means to me, as someone who isn't religious.

What do you do to keep fit and healthy?
Does it feed into your mind, body, spirit connection?

No comments:

Post a Comment