We were made to move. This year I have spent time investigating movement, not only from the Body Mapping anatomy perspective, but in how I move through the day. I realized that much of my organizational work was accomplished sitting in a chair at my desk, and recognized the disconnect of this practice from the paradigm of a healthy movement lifestyle that I have chosen to pursue.
What does a movement lifestyle mean? To me, it means sitting & standing less, moving more. Looking for novel ways to move my arms, legs, torso, my whole body. I am in search of physical ease and freedom and improved precision and coordination not only for health but for my career. To do this, I walked off the beaten path through the woods over its varying terrain, hung from a bar for increasing lengths of time, crossed monkey bars (hooray!!), climbed my first 5.10at the rock gym, crawled around my house including up and down the stairs, and challenged myself to imagine new ways of moving.
Here are some easy ways to cultivate your own movement lifestyle:
- Make every activity a chance to explore movement. For instance, I have been doing a lot of gardening lately. Gardening gives me the chance to squat, crawl, sit in different ways, and move my arms for raking, digging, spreading mulch. All great movements to practice and build movement awareness. (Plus, raking up last year’s leaves wasn’t as daunting when I approached it from the movement practice perspective.)
- Alter your work set-up – put your computer on the coffee table and sit or squat on the floor, or put your computer on the kitchen counter to stand and do leg movements including balancing . Each new configuration offers new ways to move.
- Why walk when you can crawl – crawling offers so many movement nutrients. You can baby crawl, toe crawl, bear walk and more! Not only does crawling engage the opposing muscles of sitting, it activates cross body patterns that activate both sides of the brain. So during the day when I have the opportunity – at home or in the gym, I crawl instead of walk. My kids roll their eyes, but crawling has built strength, and fine tuned coordination of the limbs, and it looks silly so you can laugh.
- Hang more! It feels great to hang from a bar (especially the flying types) allowing the weight of your body to stretch soft tissue in the arms and torso. Look for ways to “hang-out” at the gym, in your backyard, at the playground, or from a tree branch on your walk.
What does this have to do with being a flutist? Everything! The better I move, the better I play. My day is filled with movement practice and awareness building that allows me to dig into the musical details when I practice because I have already cultivated a toolbox full of movement choices to draw from.
Don’t think you have enough time? Many of these things easily integrated into what I already did every single day! Taking a few minutes to crawl around in practice sessions allows me to come back to the music refreshed and with new ideas that come to me as I crawl. Don’t have a gym membership? Your environment has all that you need to any of these!
Even more importantly, what does this have to do with being a human? EVERYTHING! It is so much fun to be aware of the movement of the hip joint or the rotation of the spine, you find yourself giggling. Good movement is also health promoting, and self-care that we all deserve. It keeps joints moving, activates the brain, and enables us to move with poise that tells the world a lot about who we truly are.
Here are some of my favorite resources to learn more about movement and challenge yourself:
- Katy Bowman’s Alignment Snacks (The video on the page is Free)
- Original Strength Videos
- Ido Portal Floreio Workout Beginner (scroll way down on this blog to find the workout)