We don’t really think of learning something we already know how to do! For example, you already know how to get up from the floor or from a chair or from the bed in the morning.
These simple movements are so embedded in our daily life, that they are hidden in plain sight. We do them spontaneously or subconsciously every single day, some of them, many times a day. We’ve build a lot of mileage on these simple everyday movements.
But what if your back hurts so much, you can’t go for that hike or that dance class you so hate to miss? Or you can’t get work done without much anguish because you can’t find a way of sitting on the chair that feels comfortable? Or perhaps you’ve given up sitting on the floor because getting up isn’t as easy anymore?
Wouldn’t you take a second look at what you are doing in these simple movements that is giving you that pain so now you can’t enjoy the stuff you like to do?
Do you? Do you look for the solutions to your body aches in your daily movements? After all, just because you do them all the time, doesn’t mean that you do them well.
And when we don’t do them well, we have a very reliable and not so pleasant indicator in the achiness and pain we are having.
As much as pain is very good at getting our attention, what we really want is a higher standard for the quality of our movement.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have some objective criteria or cues that give us a sense that we are moving well?
One of the criteria we use in a Feldenkrais class is EFFICIENCY. Are we organizing the movement to allow the ground reaction force to come up and through us or are we shearing across our joints creating wear and tear? This shows up in the feeling of lifting away from the floor versus falling into the floor.
Another one is REVERSIBILITY. Can we pause and change the direction of movement at any moment? Or are we relying on momentum to carry us through so that any pausing or changing direction would be physically jerky and emotionally perturbing?
ADAPTATION is another big one. It is about finding another way to do the same thing!
How would you like it, if you could do the same act, for example, the act of getting up and down from the floor in more than one way?
What if you had a knee injury skiing (like I did recently. You can read that post here: A Tale of Two knees?). And the one way you know how to get up was painful. Would it be meaningful to know of another way?
Having many options to do the same simple thing was hugely liberating when I was recuperating from my injury. Watch me in this video adapting and finding another way to get up from the floor.
We will be investigating these themes of adaptation and quality in movement in my upcoming 8 week series on RESILIENCE. This class is SOLD OUT!
So, I have 2 resources for you:
1. From March 18 - 22, I am offering a FREE Program on how to SIT COMFORTABLY. If you'd like a fun and easy way to improve your sitting in ways that are beyond using a back rest or pulling your shoulders back, you can Sign UP for the Program by clicking here.
2. The next time you get out of bed in the morning, would you consider paying attention to the quality of it? The REVERSIBILITY of the movement or perhaps just HOW you do it?
For example, is your head the first or last to leave the bed? Is it a dead weight that your neck has to pull behind itself? Can you find a leverage for your head?
Do you always get up the same way every morning? Can you FIND ANOTHER WAY?!