What Is Movement For?

As movement culture seeps more and more into our broader culture, as we see more dance used in advertising, more acroyoga on Instagram, more attention brought to mixed martial arts, it's helpful to put in perspective: what is this movement stuff for?

On an organismic level it's how we interact with life around us.  It's how we get from A to B.  It's how we put food on the table.  It's how we embrace those closest to us.  It's how we stand our ground, lend a hand, and step into our own--our very language is saturated in movement!

The bulk of our movements are geared around keeping us safe and functional.  We hit the gym or yoga class to become--or stay--capable humans.  We intuitively understand that movement makes us better able to do the things we want to do on a day-to-day basis.  But too many of us see this as the end of the road.  We're functional, and we stay that way.  This is the world of fitness.

But movement is bigger than fitness.  If this is as far as we go, we miss out on real vitality.  We get by, but we're far from thriving.  Our movements are rote and robotic...our thinking soon follows suit.

At a raw, primal level we crave complexity and variety.  When we unbox ourselves and engage in myriad movements, we get to the root of what movement is all about.  We're geared to be creative, curious, and connected to the world around us...yes, even you.  But this is only possible when our baseline organismic functions are in place.  Creativity can't thrive when we're chronically overstressed or dealing with unresolved trauma.  Curiosity doesn't show up if we don't know how to function effectively in the world first.  Only when we've checked off safety and function are we capable of truly engaging with the world.  

This is what movement is all about.  It's about reclaiming comfort in and control over our bodies.  And at a certain point it's about swimming in the deep end, finding clarity in who and how we want to be, choosing what (literal) impact we want to make on the world.  It's your innate right.  Movement is how we get there.  Please don't settle for fitness.

Chandler StevensComment