“Stay in your head you’re dead” my mate Tony Robbins says. I am realising more and more the importance of movement and the impact it has on the mind and spirit as well as the body. I used to think cross country running was hell (it kind of was being forced to run up a hill on a cold Canberra morning) but if the PE teacher had espoused the benefits of exercise, I might’ve been more inclined to be an ‘active participant’. You breathe in fresh –very fresh in the nation’s capital -air, it energises the body, awakens the mind and shifts emotion.

I realised that working out was beneficial for the body and booty but have more recently realised just how closely the body impacts on the mind and vice versa. When you’re feeling stuck, sad or mad it is beneficial to ‘walk yourself out of distress’, as author/ therapist Alan Downs says. Instead of pushing yourself to complete a task or sitting in a negative state, regular movement breaks are important to refresh the mind as well as body. I set the timer for 50 minutes when I’m doing computer-work and when it goes off I go for a quick walk ‘ a turn around the room’/ do starjumps/ jump on the mini-tramp ‘bouncy-bouncy’/ have a stretch/ drink some water. I can then return to the task with a beginner’s mind rather than a monkey one. So fresh and so clean clean.

This important mind/body connection is the basis for Louise Hay’s book “You can heal your life” which is the one I’m always banging on about. The basis for this book is that all physical symptoms and ailments are reflections of internal thoughts and feelings. A thought can be changed which changes how you feel emotionally which changes how you feel physically. As a preschool teacher, I’m well aware of the need for people to have regular movement breaks. And if I forget, there is always a child there to remind me by calling out ‘this is boring’, rolling on the floor or punching a friend. This lack of inhibition could come in handy during work meetings and my corporate friend says her office now has ‘stretch breaks’ sanctioned over the speaker system. Down tools and downward dog everyone!

Exercise needn’t be all running up a hill on a winter’s morning past the boys’ school in your skimpy PE gear, unless that’s your thang of course. I try to listen to what my body needs; ‘what is it girl?’ It could be slow laps in the slow lane or showing the world why my nickname is ‘sweaty vetty’ with some full on cardio. Even though I often resist it, I find the sweatier the exercise, the quicker it changes my mood from blah to yah!

So get out of your head and into your body and experience the increased energy, happiness and clarity that exercise brings.

Love and light and keep running up that hill xxx Yvette