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Why movement is essential to well-being


A NIA class can be a fun way to get a workout. Classes are in Mandaluyong, Makati and Alabang.

The body needs to move in order to function effectively. Moving with spiritual intent leads to a healthy, radiant and thriving body. A body that thrives is a foundation for a balanced physical, mental and spiritual lifestyle.

I started doing workouts only last year. I had been averse to any form of exercise—stubbornly citing such factors as having small feet, and preferring meditation instead.

The result: aches and pains, weight fluctuations, limited and heavy movements, falling on a flat surface, and a general feeling of bearing the weight of everything in my life.

I chose to start working on my body when I began teaching about self-love.  I had to learn to accept myself completely before I started to teach others. 

Self-love is the foundation of happiness, and a huge part of it is loving the body you are in.

Loving your body is probably the most difficult part of appreciating yourself; at least it was for me.

Go ahead, pass a mirror. What is your “mirror word?”  We unconsciously say a “mirror word” when we pass by a mirror. Take note of that word and if it is positive, keep it. If not, you need to change it.

We program our own thoughts and feelings, and our words and thoughts form our self-programming. I would always say things like “fatty” or “hide your arms” when I passed a mirror. I  realized that I was loving my soul and my mind, and justifying this as self-love. I was actually masking the issue.


There needs to be a balance. I couldn’t just be all mind and soul—studying, learning, teaching, meditating, working with clients. These were fulfilling, but there was still a gap.

Self-love is radical self-acceptance  in body, mind and spirit. So I decided to make movement my act of self-love for my body.


KUNDALINI yoga teachers Marisa HarNadh, Madonna English, Rosan Cruz. Classes are offered in Makati, BGC and Alabang.

It started off as an exercise, but I soon realized that movement is such an essential part of well-being that it doesn’t just focus on the body. It is part of the integration of body, mind and soul.

Just as nutrition is not just for the body, movement is also an integral part of wellness. This is for anyone who wants to experience his/her body and learn to accept it as uniquely special.

I’m sharing what worked for me. You can explore other movement options. There are just as many activities as there are personality types. Try and choose what works for you and what resonates with your body, mind and spirit.

Kundalini yoga

Kundalini yoga is referred to as the yoga of awareness. Initially I resisted doing it because I thought I would have a hard time holding the poses.  I did not realize then that those were physical, emotional and mental blocks.

It turned out that Kundalini yoga is the best way to release blockages in our body and cellular memories. It has been so life-transforming that I cannot imagine not practicing it.

The meditations, poses and chanting make for a highly unique practice that will definitely create joy and happiness.

No two classes are alike; each one is a unique experience. It needs to be experienced to be appreciated. Try a class near you. Log on hereKundalini Yoga or SouLove Center for schedules in Makati and Alabang.


YIN Yoga with Reiki releases stress, tension and aches. Classes are offered in Alabang.

Nia technique

Nia is a combination of dance, martial arts and yoga. I normally tell people to go to YouTube and search for Nia Technique to see a sample class, because that is how unique it is. 

Each class is a specific routine, choreographed to beautiful music that focuses on one part or parts of the body. This is why each time you come to class, it is also a different experience. 

The beauty of Nia is that it is done at the student’s own pace. There is no such thing as limits in Nia. Young and not-so-young can enjoy it, from those with disabilities or recovering from illness, to professional dancers and athletes. There are three levels of movement within each class, so each one goes at his/her own pace. And I do it because it makes me happy.

I think a Nia class is the perfect way to experience the joy of movement. This is a class I would recommend to anyone at any age, even those with injuries or seniors.  They can be reached here for Manila classes.  Nia is also available in Cagayan de Oro and Davao, contact them at Nia Phils. Manila classes currently have a “Bring a friend to Nia for free” promo.

Yin yoga

I practice Yin yoga because I love the stretching and the meditative quality  that allows you to really get into your body. This form of yoga has helped me know and communicate with my body. 

It works on releasing stress points, and allows the body to extend, slowly and effectively, into stretch poses. I would consider this a must for those who really need to stretch and get into an awareness of their body. 

Maricar Sumulong conducts community classes combined with Reiki Healing in Alabang; contact The Center by SouLove at (0995) 4741401. Yin yoga is also being offered at The Romulo Peace Center on Wednesdays.  You can contact Lourdes Jimenez here.

These are the movement practices that I have come to enjoy.  Again, you are not limited to them. Even a walk in the park is considered movement, as is tennis or badminton. I am simply sharing what has worked for me, and what you can do if you have resisted movement all this time. I’m looking forward to moving, learning and growing with you.

Published April 26, 2016, Philippine Daily Inquirer Thriving in SouLove Column.

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