Don't get me wrong I LOVE fitness, lifting weights and feeling empowered - but now that the gyms are back open I find myself dragging my feet to go back. Feeling unmotivated to be in the "gym" atmosphere and currently deconstructing what Fitness actually means to me.
Having worked in the Fitness industry for over 3 years. Working currently as a Homeopath and Energy Medicine Practitioner and having my Yoga Teacher certification, I am no stranger to the benefits of movement and fitness. For me, it provides an element of mindfulness, getting out of my head and into my body to move out energy. And I mean I just feel like a badass Goddess in my own skin.
However, I am also no stranger to the "dangerous Ego" of the fitness industry. Listening to women (and men) body shame themselves and others, the over exercising, the confidence and self esteem issues, the bodybuilding competitions done with steroids and extreme dieting, judging and constantly comparing yourself and your progress to others. Even promoting fitness moves that 95% of the population wouldn't even be able to do CAN become a slippery slope, when not in balance.
I, myself, suffer from body dysmorphia and I have a long history of being bullied as a child for my weight. I am also a highly sensitive Empath. So what use to be my kingdom of stress relief and empowerment - quickly became a "I want to crawl out of my own skin" zone. Feeling the Ego and inner and outer judgements of other people, even though I was feeling confident in my own body, just wore me down. What should be a healthy safe environment to explore movement and health, quickly comes toxic.
Fitness also exercises our masculine dominant energy, and expels energy from our beings. Unless you are doing Yin Yoga, Restorative Yoga or a form of Esctatic dance - chances are you are more in your masculine energy while engaging in fitness. Which can work against you achieving your fitness goals, especially if you are a high stress individual or don't manage your stress levels in a "healthy" manner.
There are only two Fitness "Gurus" - Paul Chek and BellyFit's Founder Alice Bracegirdle - that actually focus on "working inward", restoring the energy balance within the body, and or focusing on empowerment through movement.
Being in the Energy Medicine field, I work to help individuals tune into their bodies. And what most individuals, especially those who experience a menstrual cycle, might experience is a need to slow down completely for a week out of the month. During the menstrual cycle, it's actually more harmonious for your body to rest and integrate. In ancient times, this was a profound time for transformation, shedding the old, and receiving intuitive downloads. Engaging in heavy impact or high impact movements works against the body's natural energy flow at this time and can be jarring for your system. Engaging in more soothing movements like Yin Yoga, Restorative or walking would be more beneficial for the body.
In Ayurvedic Medicine, we learn that your dosha type prefers a certain type of movement as well. For example, if you have a Pitta dominant dosha you will be more attracted to high intensity workouts, bodybuilding, Vinyasa Yoga, or movement practices that are fast pace. However, this can actually aggravate your dosha and energy rhythm within the body when it is in excess or if you aren't engaging in other practices that are Pitta pacifying. Someone with a Pitta dominant dosha would benefit more from functional fitness, and more Yin or Restorative Yoga to help them destress and create cooling energy within their being.
There are SO many pros to fitness and movement, and it's something EVERYONE should engage in. Nonetheless, my question to society is can we do "fitness" in a different way - where it's less about the Ego, looks, vanity and more about creating harmony within your body and truly making you feel EMPOWERED from the inside out. Your fitness should be about connecting with your body and helping you to truly step into your God/dess self - not promoting more dis-ease and imbalance.