When I was 40, I began to develop Arthritis. It began slowly, at first in my fingers, however by the time I was in my late 50s, I was really suffering with pain, joint stiffness and swelling in my feet, knees, hands and ankles.
I knew that I needed to find a way that I could move that was gentle and kind to my body and that would make me feel confident, strong and happy in my body again.
As a dancer in my early life and a professional fitness presenter, I created a simple, gentle and mindful movement practice that I called Chakraneticsä. It is based on beautiful flowing, mindful energy-based movements that help soothe, replenish and energise your body, mind, heart and soul. I have taken four of these gentle movements from this practice (which I call Goddess Moves) to share with you.
The archetype of a Goddess is a woman who stands strong in her own power. She knows who she is and lives her life according to how she desires to feel. She is able to adapt to life’s challenges and knows how to turn her pain into power. She is real, earthy, accessible and flows with the energy of life.
She is a woman who has travelled the long journey home and no matter her age, she seeks to be radiantly well and fabulously alive! Goddess Moves are based on these core qualities of inner strength, peace, authenticity, resiliency, personal power, body confidence, love, trusting yourself and moving into endless new opportunities and possibilities.
Every movement we make in our lives has meaning. Even without realising it, we are continually expressing our deepest thoughts, beliefs and core qualities with every movement we make. When your shoulders rise in tension or you find yourself clenching your stomach or grinding your teeth, your body is giving you clear signals that there is a sense of unease, resistance or unhelpful thoughts at play.
When you can become aware of these body signals, you can begin to consciously change them and create a different “feeling” response within your body which helps to calm your mind. This is powerful because it helps put you back into the driving seat of your life.
The health benefits of meditation are well documented and include enhancing the immune system, reducing stress and anxiety levels, boosting memory and alertness and promoting feelings of inner peace, happiness and fulfilment in life.
However, when you combine gentle movements with mindfulness meditation, you are able to deepen your connection with your body which can help you become more aware of what your body needs. For example, even changing the posture of your body has the ability to transform the way you are feeling.
When the body moves in a new way, the brain has to move in alignment with this. Try noticing the difference in how you feel when you round your shoulders, collapse your chest, hang your head down and close your arms in to your sides to when you sit tall, with your spine long and free, your head is up and your eyes are looking forward, shoulders are down and back, your heart is open, and your arms are stretched out to the side.
Most people will report that they feel better in the second position than the first. This is the power and the inherent wisdom that our bodies have in helping us to heal and move into different states of being.
Enjoy these four Goddess Movements that echo and embody the above and help you to boost your body confidence and vitality.
This beautiful movement helps you to connect with the wisdom of your heart and helps to boost self-love and self-esteem. Stand or sit and rub your hands vigorously together to charge your energy. Gently place both hands over your heart area. Breathe in and open both arms wide and out to the sides.
Feel your heart open and expand as you open yourself up to more love, wellbeing and joy. As you exhale, gently bring both arms in and back to your heart, as if you were softly hugging yourself. Repeat this beautiful flowing movement 6 to 9 times or as many as you feel you need.
Repeat the mantra quietly in your mind, “I TRUST THE WISDOM OF MY HEART” as you perform this movement.
This simple movement helps you to slow down and connect with the present moment. It invites you to focus on moving with ease and joy and to become aware of the endless opportunities and possibilities in front of you.
Stand or sit and gently allow both arms to flow upwards and forwards as if your hands are kissing the air. Breathe in and focus on feeling your fingertips stroke the air. As you breathe out, float your arms down focusing on softening the palms of your hands. Repeat this flowing movement, reaching gently into the space in front of you and then returning your energy back to your body.
Repeat the mantra “I FLOW WITH EASE AND JOY.” Perform this soothing movement as many times as it feels right for you.
This movement helps to build courage, resiliency, personal power, strength and the ability to show up in your life as the authentic YOU! Stand tall with your feet together. Take a step forward with your right foot. At the same time, throw both arms up into the air in a high “V” shape. Breathe in as you do this movement.
Focus on making the movement powerful and dynamic. Breathe out and step back with your right foot to where you began. Repeat the same action with the left foot and strongly bringing your arms down to the sides. Imagine you are throwing away anything that does not serve you as you bring your arms down. Repeat this movement 6 to 9 times or as many as you feel you need.
Repeat the mantra, “I LOVE WHO I AM!” This exercise can also be done sitting down.
This is a beautiful movement to help you to stand in your own power and promote inner strength and stability. Stand or sit and reach one arm forward with your palm turned upwards facing the sky. Focus on extending the arm as you reach forward. Breathe in as you reach.
Allow your eyes to look upwards and imagine you are reaching for something you desire in your life. Breathe out and softly lower the arm back to the starting position. Repeat with the other arm.
Say the mantra, “I RECLAIM MY MAGIC AND MY POWER,” quietly in your mind as you repeat the movement.
I love to do these four movements in the morning and outside if possible. They help me to begin my day with a conscious awareness of how I desire to feel and live. I call them my four minutes of fabulousness as they only take a short time to do and yet make me feel on top of the world.
As a special gift for you, please download the FREE eBook GODDESS MOVES, which describes the four movements so that you can practice them every day on your own or with friends.
Are there any movements or exercises that you do that help to make you feel wonderful? Have you had to adapt your own fitness regime because of arthritis or another health condition? What do you love to do that makes your body feel great?