'Tiny tweaks can lead to big changes' - Our fitness outlook for 2015!
Last night I watched Amy Cuddy’s now famous talk on power posing for the first time. For those of you who are familiar with her work, you undoubtedly will recognize the title of this article – tiny tweaks can lead to big changes – as it was one of the key phrases as part of her speech.
As a movement professional this phrase struck a special chord with me especially as we enter into a new year. We work with clients throughout the year, however the holidays and the beginning of a New Year sparks new hope for everyone. I can attest that Amy’s statement is true: Tiny tweaks to our movement regiment indeed hold promise for big pay-off relative to our wellness or sense of well being.
Allow me to elaborate with a few examples, which will pertain to some simple floor postures that will have a profound impact on your body (including back and/or neck pain).
So lets talk about floor postures. Recently we had the pleasure of hosting Dr. Philip Beach in our studio in Charlotte where he taught the principles of ‘erector-sizes’ and archetypal postures. The basic premise is that properly getting up and down from the floor is one of the most important things you can do for your body as it mimics the development cycle from the embryo to the child to the adult. We also rediscover the opposite of movement, namely our postures when we are at rest, which is something we typically don’t think about. Rest and movement are flip sides of the same things and without one the other is nonsensical!
Many of us go for days and weeks without getting to the ground and sadly, too many of us cannot get back up again without any help! Sitting comfortably on the floor and getting back up is our birthright. Too much chair sitting has taken away our ability to get up off the floor. Therefore, we need to ‘re-tune’ our bodies to be able to perform what they were designed to do. Modern lifestyle has divorced us from a natural form of biomechanical self-correction and the result is back pain becoming epidemic in our society.
Some of the most basic postures you can try at home are the following:
Sitting cross-legged (Tailor crossed).
Sitting on your toes while fully at rest on top of your heels.
Japanese sitting posture (you want your heels to be turned away and the toes to be turned in).
Long Legs Sitting (the legs can be open or slightly crossed).
Squatting (sit comfortably, with your knees in line with the toes and as upright as possible without your shoulders coming up to your ears).
Use these postures carefully; use pillows or pads to assist if needed. Start on a softer surface such as carpet and then progress to actually the floor. By performing them on the floor, gravity naturally assists you back into the shapes your body wants to be in and then learning how to properly stand up without any help will take you one step further to ‘retuning’ your physique. In other words, through these postures is the way the body was designed to self-correct.
‘It’s the sequence of getting up and down from the floor that you want to be able to perform to keep you strong’ says Beach. ‘It is that strength that will allow us to pursue all other fitness activities and daily living with greater ease and comfort!
It’s also an easy way to make us look and feel younger! There is nothing that ages us more than struggling to get up! An appreciation of biomechanical tune is not only crucial, it’s as non-negotiable as tune is to musical instrument’
To speed up the tuning process of your body take your shoes off. Walking barefoot for as little as 20 minutes a day on uneven surfaces such as rock garden is like having an expensive reflexology session for free! Our bare feet are very smart and when you make the feet smarter, you make your whole system smarter.
To summarize, spending 10 minutes a day in ‘floor time’, practicing getting up in a purposeful manner and stimulating your feet without shoes for approx. 20 minutes a day will not only have a profound impact on your body, but also on your mind!
Now that is Smart Movement®!
ABsolute Pilates & Gyrotonic
If you would like more information on learning this postures, contact us at Absolute Pilates and we would be happy to help you ‘retune’ for a healthy happy 2015!
Dr. Phillip Beach DO is an Orthopedic and acupuncture practitioner and lives in Wellington, New Zealand. His book, Muscles and Meridians: The manipulation of Shape is available on Amazon. Visit his website: www.phillipbeach.com for more information.