To emerge out of winter and into spring is a ritual as old as time, particularly to those who live in touch with the rhythms of the earth. Life explodes around us, enticing back out into nature.
But other than removing a few layers and enjoying earlier mornings, what does spring reawakening look like in practice to those of us whose working days don’t change with the seasons?
To get inspired about reawakening our bodies from their winter slumbers, and reconnecting with the earth beneath us, we went somewhere where the sun barely stops shining…
Venus is a flow-movement practitioner and coach in LA. Through flow movement - rhythmic, yoga-like movements that build all-round body strength and balance (including in the brain!) - Venus teaches and inspires people to emerge from sedation into movement.
We asked Venus why she practices flow movement instead of more traditional gym workouts. “For the longest time I was an athlete who lifted weights and who did a lot of traditional exercise and played all the sports, and there's nothing wrong with that,” she told us. “But I knew there was something that I was missing, and I wanted to get more into movement that was functional but still athletic and challenged me.”
Venus also loves how flow movement builds a strong foundation for other forms of exercise. “At the end of the day,” she reflected, “what's beautiful about flow movement is that you are utilising all of your muscles, and you're really understanding how to ground yourself and stabilise yourself with the ground and with your own body weight.”
Though some of Venus’ flows might be beyond our reach, her message is simple: anyone can move a little bit more. And doing it barefoot is even better, because being rooted to the earth is integral to her practice. “Fitness is empty without really connecting back with Mother Nature and with who you are,” she told us. “When you're out in Mother Nature you can experience life, and you realise there is something bigger than just you.” In part two of this blog, we’ll relay some of Venus’ top tips for barefoot movement.
Community is also key to Venus’ practice. Moving with others is in our nature! As social creatures, moving with others can improve our health and wellbeing, because it boosts our motivation. One study, for example, found that exercising either alongside or in competition with a partner (even just virtually) improves performance versus exercising alone. Finding people to move with might be the difference between hitting snooze and throwing off the duvet.
When chatting to Venus, it was clear that re-emerging into spring doesn’t need to involve a huge lifestyle overhaul. Taking small actions that bring us back to nature can be powerful, and movement is a central part of this. Venus described “starting my day with sunlight, going outside, grounding my feet on the earth and moving” as the best way to kickstart the day. We may not all have the advantage of living in sunny LA, but whether its sun, wind or rain on your face, the natural elements make us feel alive. And that’s what living is all about.
At Vivobarefoot we are passionate not just about your feet, but your holistic natural health. Barefoot health starts from the ground up, but is about so much more than shoes. So what could you do to reawaken your nature this spring?