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RMMTT musings: if hip openers make you cry, you're not alone by michelle cordeiro, cnp


Last weekend I met for the Ritual Movement Method Teacher Training and had a h.e.a.v.y experience. We all did. The weekend before we all did a whole bunch of hip opening work, we all had some pretty intense personal experiences in the week that followed, and then talked it out (read: collectively cried for 45 minutes). It was a lot. And I struggled with it for many reasons but the main one being that I hate crying in front of others. I do it, but I hate it.  

And I'm working on that. 

I have a beautiful writer of a friend who recently put out a blog post called "The Things I'm Not Sorry For Anymore" and it really struck me (so go read it and marvel over the beauty that is her writing because I can't do it justice). A significant part that has hung on from both her blog and the overall wealth of wisdom that she gifts me, has been to stop apologizing for my emotions.  

And it's so haaarrrddd for me to do, and for many of us to do. It's hard because we often associate our own vulnerability as weakness when it's so intensely the opposite. Vulnerability IS strength. But even knowing this, it takes time to reframe the mind and allow ourselves to let our emotions run fluid.  

Here's a little excerpt: 

"I am learning to not be sorry for having deep emotion. I am not sorry that my tears make you uncomfortable or that my past experiences have made me intolerant to ignorance or that I find your joke offensive." YEP. 

So when I heard that hip opening exercises, like Robin's Hips Don't Lie video, can bring up a lot of emotions, I was curious. But I did the video when she first released it a few months ago expecting a big emotional moment... and felt nothing but sore hips the next day. Okay sure, no big deal, love the DOMS. 

And then two weekends ago we met for the Ritual Movement Method Teacher Training and opened up dem hips for almost 6 hours. Did I feel the emotional side of movement? No. Not at all. Still nothing. 

A week later we met again and the majority of the women in the group had gone through a huge emotional release after our last session... and I sat there feeling cheated out of the full experience. I wanted it! I wanted to experience this deep connection between movement and my emotions other that the obvious feelings of joy that normally follow a good sweat sesh. 

I thought "maybe I'm doing it wrong", "maybe I'm not the ball of emotions I thought I was", "maybe I don't hold anything in my hips".... 

And then it hit me. Hard.  

Robin took us through a guided meditation to deal with all the 'stuff' we were individually/collectively dealing with, and I LOST IT. I have never experienced such a full on emotional overload like that before. There was no warning, no build up, just a bunch of stuff came barreling out all at once and I hated it. I fought against it the entire time, tried to calm myself down, refused to lean into it or let it flow, and felt big shame for showing such extreme emotion even in such a safe space. 

But (but but!) when it was all over I did appreciate how beautiful it was to experience such extreme emotions from movement. During and after moving my body I've felt pure joy, frustration, strength, weakness, but never an uncontrollable sadness like I did on Saturday. Old shit coming to the surface that was held up in my damn hips. It was a wild realization.  

I get it. Yoga, pilates and other movement practices are holistic practices, affecting more than just the physical body. I know that moving can make me feel joyous and relaxed and accomplished, so having this alternative (and delayed!) experience was crazy.  


Because we're sometimes/usually/always sitting. Our society is so often sitting at a desk, sitting in front of a computer, sitting watching TV or sitting in transit that we often don't allow ourselves to properly stretch out our hips. So when we hold tension in this area, similar to how we can hold tension in our neck and shoulders, it's hard for this tension to be released.  

And this is where a proper movement practice can benefit much more than just the physical body. Much much more. Stretch that stuff out. Squat deep, stand tall, create big, wide knee circles and move your hips in ways that feel really good, sticky, and beneficial. Stuff might come up right then and there, it might come up an hour later, or (if you're like me) it might come up 7 days later when you really don't want it to. Ah, life.  

Curious? Give this 30 minute HIPS DON'T LIE video, created by Robin, a try. It was my first introduction into hip strengthening and mobility work. And then when it's hard, frustrating and sticky, do it again and again. It does get easier, promise.  




In addition to being a kick-butt holistic nutritionist, member of the Ritual Island practitioner team and weekly contributor to the blog, Michelle is one of the students in our first ever Ritual Movement Method Teacher Training. The program is a 200-hr, year long course, running one weekend/month to train folks to teach our unique approach to movement. It is full for 2018-2019 but sign up for our newsletter to be informed when we begin registration for round 2. 


What happens when you put a bunch of women in a room lead by Robin Lamarr?





It was just so GOOD.

I know GOOD is a pretty mediocre adjective, but when asked to talk about how I was feeling during those two days I often used it. I don't know, it was just hard to express, OKAY.

It was like we were all there for different reasons because none of us came from the same place but we all needed some sort of shift in our lives and then right off the bat we were sharing the honest, personal, hard, yet important stuff and it felt so right and so GOOD right from the first minute to the last. Did that run-on sentence do it justice? No, but I'm getting closer.

As I pedaled to the first day I had all these grand expectations about how much I was going to love every woman there, how I was going to learn so much, how it was all going to feel...everything. It was mapped out in my brain like a nicely worded novel where nothing could go wrong. And for a girl who thought she had a handle on managing her expectations to just go with the flow..this was out of character.

But then I arrived and everything was exactly (or maybe better than? yeah, better than) how I had imagined it. Honestly! Everything! The space was stunning, the group was open and welcoming, everyone shared, and we all just worked through the day together. Not to mention every piece of information made me really pumped on knowledge (diaphragms are so cool, guys!!).

I knew it was GOOD when halfway through my ride home I realized I had traded in my normal cycling focus of looking out for cars! potholes! broken glass! squirrels! for this really dumb toothy smile.


And then DAY 2 came, and it was like walking into a room of women you've known forever. No one sat beside the same person, we all mingled and laughed and awkwardly worked through each movement without judgement. We literally cheered each other on during the hard parts. I just can't. I could talk about this for hours..and I already have (shout out to my friends for asking and listening!).

What made it all extra special for me was, being my first ever movement teacher training, was the fact that it was Robin's first time teaching a training too. It's like we were all learning and growing at the same time and I think that added something a little extra.

I am so thankful. So privileged to have mentors like Robin and Emily. And so grateful to be supported beyond measure by those around me.

I think this is going to be big.