I have been dancing since I was 18 years old. I’m also a yoga teacher and have been a devoted practitioner since 2010. When I was much younger, I loved running and still occasionally like to go for a jog by the sea. Movement is a part of my daily life activities and something I simply cannot live without.
But what happens when you find yourself in a new land, far away from everything you know, everything that is comfortable, with no agenda set yet because you’ve just landed in your new village or city?
The Importance of a Movement Practice
Establishing a new movement practice might be the furthest on your mind because the first steps when landing somewhere new are probably related to finding shelter, having enough money for food, and finding a steady job. We must, of course, take care of our basic human needs foremost.
I am currently studying for my master’s degree in Dance and Movement Therapy. Therefore, I am completing my clinical practice at a school near my home and will soon begin working at an adult school and community center for immigrants where I will treat patients using art, dance, and other movement and creative-based activities.
During the time I have been studying and all the years that came before in which I carried out investigations and discovered new insights, I found that movement is much more important than they made us believe. We move from the time we are in the womb, and this entire journey in movement extends throughout our lifetime until we take our last breath.
Relocating to another country is also a form of movement. Nowadays, we use modern vehicles. But our ancestors and their tribes moved on foot to cross to foreign lands. Movement is inherent in our existence, and we need it to stay mentally and physically fit.
My movement practice is vital, and for this reason, I am choosing to devote this next chapter of my life to such passions.
Taking part in any movement activity is an opportunity for embodiment and union of mind, body, and spirit. This promotes a sense of well-being, relieves stress, stimulates creativity, establishes body awareness, and brings you into the present moment. When we move with others, we form bonds, establish a sense of belonging, and become part of a community.
Where Should I Start?
In Spain, Meetup is one of the most popular event-hosting platforms and has a ton of events that are movement-oriented, some free and some paid. I host weekly yoga classes at the beach during the warmer months and it has been hugely successful.
You can also join Facebook groups for your respective city where people share info about events and classes. There is so much happening – it’s just a matter of trying some different activities and deciding what resonates with you.
If you are someone who enjoys group activities, there are plenty of ways to find people with similar interests as yours in your new city. Now, more than ever, there are plenty of ways to connect online with event hosts who are gathering safely outside for workouts, dance, yoga, meditation, and more.
If you prefer more solo activities, then my suggestion for Spain would be to check out the gyms on the beach.
The beachside gyms are public, and if you’re on a budget, it’s a great way to still get in a rigorous workout at sunrise or sunset. And in the warmer months, you can go for a refreshing dip in the sea afterward.
Check out the many hiking trails at both the forests and beaches for another wonderful and free alternative. There is a huge hiking culture around here and so much nature to appreciate! A walk or jog in these parts is hugely satisfying and good for mind, body, and soul.
Spain has both the weather and culture for countless outdoor activities, so my advice is to take definitely advantage.
Once you’re more established, why not add gym membership, dance or yoga classes? But go for it now! Exercise right away! This way, you won’t sacrifice your mental or physical health during the initial settling period. Not only will you keep healthy, but you will also meet new friends who share similar interests, thus building your new community.
What are some of your favorite movement activities? Why not comment below?
by: Marjorie Vera