Connecting movement of life to the whole body

Let's talk about rotation of the body.

Envision a sprinter running.

She runs with her whole body, not just her legs and arms doing the action.

Her torso has a lovely contralateral, rotational pattern to it, that makes her running quick and easy.

As one leg and hip swings forward so does the opposite shoulder girdle and arm. The opposite diagonal swings backward.

But most of us don't move that freely from our centers, i.e. our torsos.

You could even try this little exploration we often do in classes. 

  • stand up
  • put your left finger tips on the front of your left shoulder
  • right fingers on the front of your right hip bone
  • now take a walk around your room and notice if there is any movement in the shoulder and/or hip area
  • don't try to "make it happen" just notice what happens as you walk
  • then switch to the other diagonal--left shoulder to right hip
  • walk with that diagonal as your focus
  • you may find there is no movement, or one region moves less or more than the other, or maybe there is a difference between the two diagonals
What did you notice? What did you discover about yourself? Let us know in the comments section below!

So, why do people "forget" how to move their torsos freely and easily?

Many reasons.

Imagine a person who sits a lot, hunched over her computer.

Or someone who lives with a lot of fear an anxiety.

Or someone who does a lot of exercises to tighten his "mirror muscles" as I call them, those pecs, biceps and abs.

All these folks are contracting the front of their bodies. Their brains start to habituate the tension, limiting their ability breathe freely, sit, stand up and rotate with ease.

Culturally we may be told to avoid moving our hips.

And a big issue is too many people are working out to tighten their bodies. They've come to believe a straight, tight, "stable" body is ideal, when in reality a pliable, resilient body is better prepared to meet the demands of moving our bodies in our daily activities.

In time, things as simple as reaching into the back seat of the car, rolling over in bed, or just plain walking becomes uncomfortable, avoided, to even impossible.

Rolling over is one of the things you learned to do as a baby. You did it all by yourself too. It was a big deal. It was an important stage of your development.

But if you are finding moving through your day is getting harder, it's not your age, it's your tension patterns.

Luckily the brain is plastic, meaning it can learn and reshape itself for new movement patterns at any age!

If you want to move freely and happily, please join me for class or a private session. I work with clients online and (when not in a pandemic) in my Portland Oregon studio.



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