By: Robyn Harris
Movement has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Whether that was the feeling of freedom I found while sailing across the floor in a dance class, gliding on ice skates, or even just feeling the wind in my hair as I ran through a park, I have come to learn that I am happiest when I am in motion.
This realization led me to choose dance as not only a lifelong hobby, but professional career as well. There’s just something about the physical exertion paired with the challenge of learning new choreography that connects me to my most grounded self, and I yearn for this focus and peace daily. If I don’t move my body in some way each day, I don’t feel like ‘me’. I’m irritable, I’m unfocused, and I’m disconnected from my body and my self. Over the years, I’ve come to learn that it’s not so much the KIND of movement that matters, but the overall sensation I’m looking for. Is today a sweat-filled exertion kind of day? More of a stretch and strength vibe? What about something to simply move my energy around? Listening to my inner wisdom on what my body wants to do allows me to take part in and enjoy a plethora of different physical activities.
One of the activities I’ve had the pleasure of coming across in the past few years has been Pilates. Starting as a small module in my professional training program’s dance curriculum, I began to really enjoy the mind-body connection I cultivated through breath work and coordinated movement. I was able to see my strength improve quickly and it began to transfer over into other areas of my life – my dancing, my workouts at the gym, and even in my chronic back pain. Ever since, I have been hungry to continue with my exploration of movement through a Pilates lens, and recently began working with reformers and other studio props. I have absolutely fallen in love with the focus, strength, and feeling of length I feel from leaving a Pilates class, and I can’t wait to continue learning more progressions and ways to challenge my body for years to come.