We may be living very comfortable lives but, we are suffering from the lack of one the most enriching processes of our lives.
We are movement deprived!
At some point in our life, without realizing, most of us left the mansion of our body and started living in the attic of our mind.
Are we out of minds?
It doesn’t make sense! And yet, we’re all doing it. It is the norm.
Now, is this norm starting to take its toll on us? Yes, it is!
Living in a tiny attic doesn’t really inspire movement…and LIFE IS MOVEMENT!
The Body, the breath and even the mind, all suffer from this lack of movement.
A body that doesn’t move much, isn’t alive much! It doesn’t feel much!
This may feel safe: less feeling, more comfort but it is not the kind of comfort that is good for us.
I feel and and I see just how dry and frail our bodies become when we live ‘up here’. When everything that we’re doing is related to what happens ‘up here’. It is great to practice yoga once a week, even better to practice every day but, something more fundamental needs to happen. We need to start hearing the body’s plea to move during the day. Otherwise, it risks losing its playfulness, its resilience and creativity. I have seen just how often, Instructions like ‘move your body how it likes to move, throw people out of their comfort zone’. We’ve forgotten what that means. Is this a surprise? We have lived, after all, for many years in a society that has trained us ‘how not to move’!Do you remember those days at school, ‘SIT STILL!, ‘WHAT ARE YOU DOING STANDING UP?!’, ‘STOP FIDGETING AND LISTEN!’
Today, we do this to ourselves…
Can you imagine rolling your shoulders in a restaurant because they’re saying please move me?
It’s time to change.
Having an exercise routine is great but is no longer enough. we need to integrate a wider range of movement – regularly – throughout the day.
According to Joan Vernikos, former NASA scientist, author of ‘Sitting Kills, Moving Heals’: ” I’s not how many hours of sitting that’s bad for you; it’s how often you interrupt that sitting that is GOOD for you!”
I couldn’t agree more.
We need to move the body, all of its joints – regularly – in all the directions that they’re meant to move in order to feel connected and aligned with life.
Lack of movement doesn’t just stiffens the body, it also changes how we breathe.
Most of us, see the breath as what bring air to the lung. and what keeps us alive.(very important, I know :)) But, not many see the breath as the ‘primal mover’… It is what “potentially”, deeply moves the body on very subtle levels.
When our body stiffens, the movement of the breath is cut short in its track. Living in the attic means, we only have access to the windows near the attic. All the other windows are shut. We don’t have access to them. The movement of the breath, is mainly up towards the head. (In the shoulders/ upper chest and back). There is less movement closer to our pelvis (the lower abdomen and back).
This is by no means, a good set up for the conditions of the attic itself. There is inadequate movement of air, much less that there could be if all the windows in the mansion were open.
Dr Patricia L Gerber, Assistant Clinical Professor in Psychiatry in New York, along with her husband Dr. Richard Brown, has researched the effects of the breath on our nervous system extensively. To her, it is clear that how we breathe affects what the brain thinks it should be doing next.
A breath that is up here, tells the brain, that we must be on the look out, on guard. That’s absolutely OK, if it it’s necessary but not when there is no need and the brain is taking the cues from a breathing pattern that has just become a habit and is no reflection of what is ‘really’ happening.
How we breathe affects our brain, it affects how we perceive events and how we respond to them.
I never forget the glitter in the eyes of a student who said (after a few months of coming to class): Since all these movements, things are starting to change up here (the head).
A mansion on fire, fills the attic with smoke. As we put out the fire, we clear the smoke.
Have I said anything new, I don’t think so!
I know we all know these things but just in case you needed a bit of a nudge to come down to your mansion every now and again, here are a few steps:
1. Get up and move on a regular basis. up down side side twist twist and all your other joints.
You’re not sure where you can do this or if you can remember? How about moving about a min or 2 each time you go to the bathroom?
2. Move a bit more when you’re out and about. Perhaps squat in the supermarket when you’re taking something from the lower shelves (thanks Jessica). Perhaps do roll your shoulders in a restaurant.
Am I asking too much? Are we afraid to look weird? I am (just a little bit…) but we need to Slowly make the weird look more normal…because I tell you, our current ‘normal’ is sucking the life out of us. But I can’t do it alone. PLEASE join me or I’ll risk being the only weirdo in town). If the weird outnumber the norm, the norm will become the weird…When it comes to movement, that’s a good plan! Don’t you think?
3. Every now and again, whenever you sit down, relax your buddha belly (if you have one) and let the breath move your lower torso more than the upper torso. Just for 5/10 breaths. (remember, you need to air your mansion).
4. If you already have a routine, spice it up a bit by adding different forms of movement. If you’ve always walked, dance….If you always use the machines at the gyms, take up a class. The body loves moving in different ways.
The list can go on forever…There is no limit to this ‘Movement Movement’. Let’s do this:
Choose not to be deprived, move! and remember, LIFE IS MOVEMENT!
p.s. If you can think of other places we can incorporate movement to our daily lives, please write it in the comments below. Without you, there won’t be a ‘Movement Movement’!
pps. If you think you need more conviction to move, Google Ido Portal (A Capoeira Martial Artitst) and/or watch this video: An interview with Ido Portal -Move or Die (dramatic, I know) but it will be worth the 47 mins spent!