“Ok, can I tell you something?” I said between labored breaths mid-run with my friend Anabel a few months back.
It was before I officially broke my own pregnancy news, but she was already a few months along herself. And since we’re both pretty in-tune with our bodies, I figured it’d be nice to commiserate with each other about our usually-predictable systems going somewhat haywire while growing tiny humans.
Since then, we’ve swapped stories, traded tips, and I’ve listened to her advice with all ears since she’s got a few months’ heads up on how this whole thing works. Sharing this experience together has created a special bond, but having a “pregnancy mentor” who isn’t afraid to show you the ropes and call it like it is has proved invaluable.
Case in point: Early on, Anabel introduced me to Angi Purinton McClure, creator of MYMA Movement here in Portland. Like me, Anabel’s eager to get back on the proverbial “race” horse post-baby (her: triathlon, me: running), but we both know that it’s going to take some planning and preparation ahead of time — not to mention some recovery, rehab and ramping up after.
Luckily, Angi’s come to our rescue. Not only is she a licensed massage therapist, fitness instructor and trained doula, but her use of Chinese Medicine, evidence-based exercises, and self-massage techniques also translate to a more innovative and balanced approach to fitness.
But best of all? This ain’t your mama’s prenatal workout; while Angi does work with new mamas and mamas-to-be, what she really specializes in is working with people through every phase of their life in order to make them more aware of their bodies and help them learn how to properly move so they can move forever.
Angi calls it ‘body longevity,’ and I wanted to pick her brain more about the topic, so we sat down to chat about her approach in a two-part interview. Read on for more on the importance of adding safe, smart and balanced movement into your fitness routine!
1. Tell us about MYMA and your mentality towards fitness.
MYMA is an acronym for Make Your Mind Aware, it’s a movement-based education service that focuses on body longevity. Based around fitness theory and Chinese Medicine, MYMA offers classes, workshops and online programs to help empower your body awareness so you can move in a smart, safe and balanced manner.
I feel that there’s a gap when it comes to long-term movement and fitness. We see 21-day results as a natural outcome from dedicated fitness efforts; however, no one is looking into the future wondering, how can we continue to move well as we age?
We need to learn balance in our movement and maintenance within our fitness routines. And MYMA is here to offer the tools and knowledge to set you on the right path. What we do today shapes our future, so let’s move now to move forever.
2. Your work blends Eastern and Western modalities; what’s the benefit to that approach?
I love to talk about balance, and Chinese Medicine is the root of how we move and care for our bodies. Within the fitness industry, many people can better relate to science-based methods; however, it is important to understand that the individual cannot be measured as a whole, so it’s vital that we learn how our minds and bodies may benefit from ALL perspectives of both eastern and western philosophy.
Besides, Chinese Medicine is the missing piece towards healing movement. Many use Chinese movement methods throughout the world, yet it’s not incorporated in our western fitness society. Until MYMA.
3. In a world of quick-fix gurus, why did you choose to focus on things like longevity, self-care and maintenance?
Working with seniors for over a decade now, I have ‘seen our future’ or so I like to say. If we are short-sighted in our approach to health, we’ll expend all our energy in our youth. Over-exercise, burnout, adrenal fatigue, injury, wear and tear, etc. are just a few instances of where we are headed in our bodies. I tell my clients, I want to continue standing to put on my underwear (a task that is not easy in your later years!).
Balance, suppleness, strength, proprioception, foot health, back health, etc. all apply to the ability of putting on underwear while standing, and yet many of my 30 year-old clients are sitting to put their shoes on after a session. This gets you thinking…you realize how in the ripe age of thirty people are already on their way to sitting down while dressing.
We have to think long-term in our movement and self-care.
4. You’re a holistic movement therapist, licensed massage therapist and doula — how did your MYMA Mama program come about?
While I was attending Pacific College of Oriental Medicine I was also teaching as a fitness instructor. While training to become a bodyworker I was also training in my own time to become a holistic movement educator because I realized people were not balanced in their ideas of fitness.
MYMA was the base I needed for people to have access to self-care tools, workout tips and mental guidance for those who knew that they needed to alter their current fitness habits and rethink how they want to continue to move in their later years.
Stay tuned for part two of my interview with Angi — in Friday’s post, we’ll be talking specifically about her recommendations for mamas-to-be with pre-natal prep and post-natal maintenance.
And if you’re interested in more information on Angi’s MYMA Movement in the meantime, check out MYMAMovement.com for details.