Today on my lunch break at Royal Roads University, my friend Lindsay and I took part in a Groove class. I find it hard to call it a class though because even though there was an instructor, Misty Tripoli, who is from The World GROOVE Movement she wasn’t in the front of us telling us what to do or how to do it. We were outside in the sun, on the grass, in the Italian Gardens Croquet lawn. It was a perfect place to have fun, dance and let go.
When Lindsay and I arrived there were about 20 other people already there. Some had shoes on while others had removed them. Misty told us that it was better for your body to go in bare feet because your feet, ankles, knees and hips got stronger without shoes on. You didn’t have to tell me twice to remove my shoes and socks because I am not a fan of shoes. You can find me typically with my shoes off in my office.
When I got near the group of people who were my friends and co-workers, I saw Liz and she came over to give me a hug. It was nice to see her because it had been awhile. Liz and her husband own Namaste Inspired and I have gone to their boot camp classes as well as one of Liz’s Groove classes in the past.
Misty got us all together, not so much in a circle but just gathered around. She spoke to us about how she came to find Groove and how she feels about it. Her story gave me goosebumps and had me thinking about myself and I am sure it had the other ladies doing the same. She said that we are never happy with our bodies. We are always wanting to be like someone else and have their thighs, their arms, their stomach or whatever it is that you don’t like about yourself. She also mentioned that when we look at a picture we will point out something negative about ourselves first before we say something good. It is something that no one else is noticing about you because they are doing that to their picture of them. We are never happy with ourselves but we need to love ourselves and feel confident in who we are. Beauty comes from the inside out and DNA and genes have given you the body you have.
After Misty was done telling us about herself and Groove, she had us close our eyes, bend our knees and start to relax our body. There was music playing in the background and she asked us to start to make circles with one of our body parts. I chose to move my hips. They were more like figure eights but I was moving…which was the point. She eventually had us moving all of our body and our eyes were still closed. She then got us to open our eyes and told us that some of us were even self-conscious to move our bodies even when everyone’s eyes were closed. She told us to let go in a not so lady like way that made us all laugh and it was true. We needed to do just that. But I understand that being hard. I know the first class that I did with Liz I found it very hard to let myself just move to the music and let myself go. I found myself looking to see what others were doing so I could ‘copy’ it. That isn’t what Groove is about. It is about you being you and expressing yourself with your own movements.
I was really listening to what she had to say. It was so true but why do I have such a hard time believing it? I am told I have a great personality and can make people laugh, be supportive when someone needs me, and encourage and motivate others. Why can’t I realize I am beautiful the way that I am? Why am I always wanting to change something about me and wish my stomach was flatter or my arms were more defined?
Today I had told myself I would let go and enjoy and I did just that. I love music and I love to move to it. I was just now doing it with some people I knew and some that I didn’t know so well. A song would come on and Misty would tell us a count for the steps, so we had a beat and she sometimes would have us doing jabs or punches but she didn’t tell us how we had to jab or walk. You just did it.
We grooved and moved for about 40 minutes and then she had us lay down and do whatever we wanted for two minutes. It could be stretching or move grooving. Then for another two minutes she had us lay completely still and I was laying on my stomach with my head on my hands under my face. She had told us that we were not allowed to move except for breathing. I could do that…except a bug flew up my nose. I tried to breathe harder through my nose to remove it was that wasn’t working. I had to move. I just couldn’t take it. After the two minutes she finished the session off. We all gathered closer and she told us we had to hug someone before we left but we had to hug that person for eight seconds. That is a long time to hug someone you don’t know…but at the same time it was nice.
I wish I could spend the majority of my lunch hours that way. It was so much fun and everyone was laughing and smiling. We were free and in bare feet, in the sun, and dancing to music. Life was good.
When did you last look in the mirror and say ‘You are beautiful?’
Because you are.