I remember as a child and especially into my adolescent years my mom being very focused on my posture. She would always say “stand up straight, hold your shoulders back, suck in, and put some lipstick on.” Probably goes a long way to explain my obsession with lipgloss.
My mom is not a fitness guru. She has had careers in nursing and real estate. But she was definitely on to something back in the 80s, and I’ve carried the advice with me throughout the decades.
Recently I listened to a Lewis Howes’ School of Greatness podcast featuring professional dancer, TV and movie star, and entrepreneur Julianne Hough. Julianne said many things that stuck with me, and I highly recommend spending a little time listening to the broadcast in it’s entirety.
One thing that she said truly resonated with me, and I thought about both our island community and our fitness community and the world in general. Julianne said, “The way that you move directly impacts the way that you feel.”
I started thinking about people walking around town… not just on St John but everywhere. Those with their shoulders hunched forward and their head hanging down with their gaze at the ground are sluggishly making their way through the day. Most likely, this reflects exactly how they feel- sluggish, down, lethargic, maybe unmotivated.
On the other hand, there are people who practically strut their way through life. Shoulders back, chest lifted, core strong and looking like they’re ready to take on absolutely anything that life throws at them. They evidently know about power poses, or even better, they don’t even have to think about striking the pose and it just comes naturally! Good for these lucky souls!
So then I started thinking… the whole chicken and egg thing. Do we feel a certain way and then wear those emotions on our body- specifically in our posture? What if we could move our bodies in a way that would actually alter (or LIFT) our minds? The power to transform your mind through movement would have so many positive implications.
Think what would happen if we all started moving more and moving in ways that directly impacted the way that we felt… heads lifted higher, chests lifted, core engaged… these powerful postures may translate into better moods, happier people, and a more pleasant community overall.
All of this has me so excited and so overwhelming motivated to reach more people, encouraging movement and wellness, of both mind and body.
Today on the beach it hit me. My mantra for our community is “Stay Lifted”- in every way. Keep your spirits lifted so you can be a blessing to those around you. Keep your shoulders lifted so you don’t have neck pain. Keep your muscles toned and lifted so you feel more confident.
Old habits die hard though, don’t they? For those who have been living sedentary lives and paying little to no attention to posture and body language and the impacts on mood, it may be difficult to jumpstart this movement toward, well, moving! But I am confident that once even the most sedentary person gets your body going, the benefits reaped should be enough to keep you going. And the impact you will have on others will likely be astounding.
I’d like to personally invite you to join the movement we’ve started on St John through Twerk and Tone strength training and cardio dance classes. If it’s not your thing, you’re at least motivated to try to find something to get you going, and that’s a great first step! But if you love it as much as we all do and if you find that you indeed believe that we are stronger together and that lifting your body lifts your mind, you are on your way to big things!
One of my favorite motivational speakers Zig Ziglar compares staying motivated to bathing; he says neither is a one time thing, which is why they’re recommended daily! The same goes with keeping yourself motivated to be healthy. You have to commit and put in the effort on the regular. One thing is for certain, and that’s as a community, we will continue to lift each other as we lift and tone our bodies. You’ve got this, St. John! And if you’re not on island, exciting things are coming soon for you as well!