wellness hub

RUOK Day: Kylie’s Story

Kylie, our Upwey Wellness Studio Manager shares with us how movement and meditation boosts her mental and emotional wellbeing.

 ‘Change happens through movement and movement heals’ – Joseph Pilates

I teach and practice movement every day for this very reason.  Because in all its forms, moving my body plays a huge part in my physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.

Whether it’s running, walking my fur babies, Pilates, yoga, strength training or boxing, for me movement not only provides an outlet for physical energy, it creates the space I need mentally to recognise thoughts (truths, and stories) and to navigate how I feel.  Meditation is also something I practice daily and highly recommend for everyone.  

I’ve had to say goodbye to the best part of me twice in the past two years, with two very different pregnancy losses, and my heart is heavy.

For me, movement and meditation are ways to explore and understand feelings I may be avoiding as well as to practice awareness of right here, right now, and being ok with whatever comes up.  It’s about changing the relationship I have to my thoughts and feelings.

My first loss left me physically restricted during a time I needed movement the most. This is where meditation was my absolute saviour. Yoga Nidra in particular, a form of meditation practice that for me, is a space to really explore emotions and face things head on.  Once physically ready, I gravitated mostly to my love of distance running and the time out on the pavement was a time of healing, a form of moving meditation that I knew so well.

With my second, neither Nidra nor distance running worked for me. Nidra was pulling me a little deep at the time, and through distance running I fell into a state of physical injury (of which I resisted, and caused more injury!) until the lesson was learned: Just because I had been here before, my experience was not going to be the same. What worked once, may not be what I need now. I had to let go of what I couldn’t control and change what I could.  

So, I changed a lot of things! including how I moved.  Although frustrated I couldn’t move in the way I wanted to, I found a love for boxing, and focused on Pilates, yoga & strength training until only just very recently, running became an option again. (Long distance wasn’t an option, but shorter, faster runs were! What I need right now, is different to what served me last time.) A consistent, disciplined schedule has allowed me to move often, just differently, and from this my health physically, mentally and emotionally has benefited so much.

Here’s a few other things I’ve discovered through my experience with grief:

  • The power of connection. The more we share our experiences with others, and stop biting our tongue, the stronger the voice, the less stigma, the more paths we create to heal collectively.
  • Moments of presence and peace – When the only way to survive is to take it one day at a time, we see things, hear things, smell things, find gratitude for things we never noticed before. Without darkness there is no light.
  • Patience – People like to offer stories of success, encouragement and advice. But this is not what is helpful. Ultimately, my happiness depends on me. Your happiness depends on you. We are all responsible for showing up for ourselves first and doing the best we can. It’s about finding the survival techniques that work for us individually and staying consistent with that. One foot in front of the other. One day at a time.
  • The courage to live in alignment with my passion (teaching and guiding others through movement every day).

So, guess what? Nobody has it all together! There is beauty in our messes, this is what makes us stronger. Here we grow into better versions of ourselves.

I put in the internal work every single day through movement, meditation, journaling, communicating and connecting with others, living each day with purpose. Some days are hard, some days are effortless. We never know what we are going to get, but we can do the work to know we are ready for it when it comes.

Thank you to the beautiful Pinnacle community and team, for inspiring me, motivating me, and filling my cup each day.  

Xx Love Kylie