Monday, September 29, 2008

The Body Has Layers of Rhythms

A symphony is playing inside your body right now. A harmony of rhythms keeps you alive, but when one system loses its tempo, the melody—that is your health—suffers.

Take a moment to tune into this miraculous song that plays day in and day out. Your heart beat, the whisper of your breath, gurgles of digestion. More subtly, your lymph system cleanses in a slow flow. Your brain and spinal cord are bathed in craniosacral rhythm. Even your organs dance in a back and forth motion every seven seconds or so.

What we commonly think of as aging is disruption in the flow of these systems. For example, the breath and visceral organs get bound up in patterns of past injury or stress. This is often because we incorrectly assume that the body is built like a machine and we limit the variety of our movements, as though we were a part of an assembly line.

Instead, try to enhance your internal flow. Consciously expand your breath every day. Nourish your heart beat with cardiovascular exercise. Move with variety—slowly, slinky, silly—move like the organic being that you are.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Spirals Undulation

Once you've learned to manipulate the core muscles around your spine, you can release very deep places with advanced undulations such as this one: Spirals.

Friday, September 19, 2008

5 Ways to Develop Body Awareness

Being more in touch with your body has practical benefits like being healthier, because you can avoid illness and injury more easily. It also makes for a more full experience of living. Here are five ways you can develop your own body consciousness.

  1. Sit or lie down and listen to your body for ten minutes. Just notice your sensations without judgment or the need to do anything. Afterwards, write your impressions in a journal.
  2. Breathe. Notice the smoothness and count of each inhale and exhale. Send breath different places in the body.
  3. Several times throughout the day, ask yourself: “How am I feeling?” Notice that it is different that what you are thinking.
  4. When you feel something, such as tight shoulders, a sore low back, or twinges in the hips, stop for a minute. Pay attention to what you feel and make adjustments if appropriate.
  5. Don’t expect the body to speak logically in full sentences. That is the way of the mind. The body is more like an artist; it speaks in poetry, colors, and imagery.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Bellows, Undulation of the Week

Like a bellows that fuels a fire with air, your side can pump energy into your discs and muscles, vitalize your breath, and tighten your waist.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Body Unconscious

Ignoring our bodies’ needs has been ingrained since early childhood.
“Don’t cry. That didn’t hurt.”
“Wake up. It’s time to go to school.”
“Sit still and be quiet.”
“Push through the pain.”
Every evasion mutes the body’s intelligence. After all, why should it talk if no one is listening?

In addition, lack of education about basic physical functions leads to ignorance that causes daily strain. For example, most people don’t know:
§ Each foot has 3 arches.
§ You can regulate your nervous system by controlling your breath (more than just taking a deep breath when upset).
§ The best way to have good posture is to push into the ground, not pull up from the shoulders.
§ The nerves that power your arms come from your neck. That’s why lean-forward, computer-work posture contributes to carpal tunnel syndrome.

It’s no wonder that so many mind-body relationships resemble a dysfunction marriage between tyranny and passive-aggression.

Mind: Get up and go to work now.
Body: I’m tired.
Mind: Work harder.
Body: I hurt.
Mind: You can rest now.
Body: I don’t want to sleep.

Restoring body consciousness is possible. My next article will give you several methods to improve the mind-body connection and will help you:
§ Avoid Injuries.
§ Be more in tune with your intuition and creativity.
§ Exercise more.
§ Eat better.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Inchworm, Undulation of the Week

This undulation has many benefits. It's playful. It's a reason to get on the ground (Never lose that ability, it keeps your legs strong!) It isolates tiny muscles around the spine--many you never knew you had. If you have children, they'll enjoy doing this exercise with you.