The bamboo body.
The body that is balanced. Strong. Agile. Full of elasticity, resilience and life.
The body is a marvelous make up of interwoven neurological, biological and emotional components. Our movement patterns are influenced by all three. The ways we move can shed light on the state of our nervous system, or our development. It can hold us within an emotion, or provide a language of expression when words fall short.
Our western view of body domination limits our physical potential. This confusion starts when people prioritize looking fit, over being fit. Doing yoga rather than embodying yoga. With yoga and movement practice increasing in popularity, I still see tension in both the physical and emotional bodies every day.
Can we take it beyond that? Can we take our movement beyond our cognitive control, moving from less analytical to more functional?
To allow freedom of expression through movement, we must have a free body. This sort of freedom is founded within much more than repetitive tricks, regimented “flows” or mind dominated movement.
Fluid bodies follow less sequences and fixed fitness flows, more reaction to chaotic and changing circumstances. Movement is less orchestrated. This requires a healthy and long term movement practice. A movement practice that focuses on natural movement, innate motor patterns, that target the release of physical tension WHILE laying foundations for balance and physical freedom.
Balance is not found on an exercise machine. Muscle isolation never happens in the natural world, or the gym. Our muscles are designed to work together, synergistically. Repetitive biceps curls may produce a bulging arm, but that doesn’t translate into greater or stronger physical performance. Six pack abs may be the ideal in our culture, but that doesn’t equate a balanced and functional core.
Conversely, If you are seeking emotional freedom through ridged or unsafe movement, you will be sorely disappointed. We can unwind emotional patterns by observing and feeling the ways in which we move. Yes, you need to move for emotional release. But, if you’re not building foundations for safe and natural movement, your emotional movement release creates physical dysfunction. For most of us, decreasing moving through discomfort is the goal, catalyzing emotional tension into physical tension is not.
How do I become the bamboo body?
1. Re-Learn to breath properly. Our basic movement patterns are programmed into our nervous system. We don’t have to teach a baby to roll, or crawl or walk. This is because all of us have an ingrained motor control program that correlates with our brain development. All babies develop in a predictable way, we can look at an infant and tell their age based on their movement abilities. You wont see a baby doing sit ups. Instead their stability comes from their breath! Properly breathing can increase core strength, guarantee proper joint position and increase your movement power.
2. Keep your movements new and fresh. Oxford University measured how white matter changes while someone learns a new motor skill like juggling. After 6 weeks, they found that white matter increased almost 6%. But what’s more interesting is that this increase is not strongly correlated with the performance but correlated with the amount of time spent training.
3. Move. Move more. Move often. Moving your body should be a joy. Not a chore. Use your movement to sustain your playfulness. Rather than opting for an exercise machine at the gym, find movement that uses your WHOLE body. Dance, handstands, yoga, crawling. All of these require your brain and body to work together.
4. Find a coach that prioritizes natural movement patterns. The key to moving safely is FEELING stable movement. A coach or movement based chiropractor (Dynamic Essence Chiropractic) can help elicit the feeling of proper movement to carry you through every day life.
The age of body domination is over. Our bodies are useful tools towards a life of feeling and living fully. Befriend yours.
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