As I sat at the mall this week, I took in all of the hustle and bustle of the space. I watched people walking by with hands full of bags, listened to the sounds of giddy children, looked at the sparkly holiday decorations, and read the sale signs meant to entice shoppers into the store to purchase the “perfect gift.” As I did this, I started thinking about all of the things I could buy for my family. Would these things really make them happier? Would they remember these gifts next year? I quickly realized that the perfect gift isn’t available in a store. In fact, it doesn’t cost money and is always with us. It can also bean important part of overcoming movement related injury!
The perfect gift is learning to tune into the joy of movement. What is the joy of movement you ask? It is tuning into the rich sensory feedback from the physical movements we use each day. Special sensory receptors in almost all of our muscles, and at every joint provide us with this gift. Thanks to this sense, the kinesthetic sense, we have the capacity to perceive movement throughout the body. Kinesthetic perception helps us to recognize poor movement, refine performance, and simply enjoy every moment. I utilize these sensations as I exercise, fly on the trapeze, type, bush my teeth, and to fill the time when the activity at hand isn’t necessarily my favorite. As I type this post, I am also tuning into the playful movement of my fingers on the keys, and the movements of my breath.
Even better than giving this gift to someone, is finding it in yourself! Try this:
- Close your eyes
- Wiggle the fingers of your left hand
- Notice you can feel the movement of your fingers without seeing it
- Next, open your eyes and notice that you can still feel your fingers moving (from the inside) as you see all that is around you.
- Practice tuning into movement quality as you move through your day.
Tuning into movement is simply fun! Challenge yourself to enjoy the playfulness of movement, and uncover greater ease and fluidity. You will not only improve how you move, you will promote wellness and refine movement precision! Merry Christmas! May your holiday and the year ahead be filled with the joy of movement.