Monday, August 20, 2007

Waiting for an Airplane

As I sat in the airport, watching the sun rise and waiting to board a plane, I had plenty of time to watch people’s movement patterns, a favorite activity for any Structural Integration practitioner. One woman tapped her fingers, keeping time with the melody in her head. A young man shifted his weight from side to side as he sat cross-legged on the floor. A woman, slightly older than me, stretched as gracefully as a cat and leaned over the back of her chair.

The rest were still, other than the occasional glance at a watch or mouths moving to chew or talk on the cell phone.

When time came to board the plane, you could see the results of stillness transformed into stiffness as most people hobbled, inched, and slogged to the gate. You could tell who moved while they were waiting, they easily transitioned from one position to the next.

Of course, I was undulating—wiggling as unnoticeably as possible—while making my observations. Undulation is mandatory to survive long distance travel without aches and pains. Try my Unnoticeable Undulation next time you have to sit still for any length of time.
1. Sit with your feet and sit bones well grounded.
2. Press the heel and ball of one foot into the ground. Feel the force travel up your leg, hips, and low back.
3. Carry the minuscule wave up your spine and through your neck.
4. Release the pressure from your foot and control the gradual movement back to neutral.
5. Repeat the press, wave, and release with your other foot.
6. Alternate side-to-side, like a cat kneading its paws. Use 10 second or more for each side. Focus on the continuity through all parts of your back and try to keep the shift at your shoulders to less than half an inch
Please share your tips for coping with long period of sitting, either in a plane, the car, or at a long meeting. Just click the comments link so others can learn from your ideas, too

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