It's About Progression, Not Perfection

When we look to change the way we move, it can seem like an insurmountable task, but small changes can make a huge difference.

It really is like learning a new language (or remembering a rusty one). We are strengthening our movement vocabulary every time we repeat an exercise.

If we move more, move better, and get into the habit of making tiny skeletal adjustments during the day - we really can gradually transform the way we feel. We can get back to the joy of optimal natural movement. 

 Which I imagine looks like this!

Which I imagine looks like this!

There is no way we to lay down new motor programs in a few short weeks of concentrated effort. It takes longer than that to write new ways of living in the world. But you can start to make noticeable changes relatively quickly if you take it one step at a time - and here is the clincher - if you are consistent.

That's why last week I suggested you just think about 'feet straight ahead' all week. Now as you head off for a few weeks without the weekly reminders, you could refresh by going back over this terms blogs. You could decide to do some practice every day.....and you could keep thinking about feet straight ahead.

That doesn't mean that you have to set aside 1/2 hour to feel that you've achieved something (although that is a great and valuable thing to do). You will get the most benefit by making movement health part of your every day life. That is when the magic happens, and I regularly see that transformation in people when they take that step wise approach.

 Funnily enough - this latest look in dog walking has not taken off in my neighbourhood yet. I'm not suggesting you do this with your larger dogs - but it does point to how we can play around with ways to bring more movement into our lives. This leaves me hands free, so that I can work on my arm swing, relaxed ribs and so on. I also include plenty of off leash areas so we don't have to stop every 3 metres for a sniff break (Bart gets annoyed when I keep stopping to sniff). We also visit many monkey bars - but that will be an adventure for Series 3! 

Funnily enough - this latest look in dog walking has not taken off in my neighbourhood yet. I'm not suggesting you do this with your larger dogs - but it does point to how we can play around with ways to bring more movement into our lives. This leaves me hands free, so that I can work on my arm swing, relaxed ribs and so on. I also include plenty of off leash areas so we don't have to stop every 3 metres for a sniff break (Bart gets annoyed when I keep stopping to sniff). We also visit many monkey bars - but that will be an adventure for Series 3! 

I know time is an issue and it is easy to find lots of reasons why we can't do things, but it is so much more satisfying to find 2 or 3 things that we can do - and then instigate them - and really tune in to the changes each day. So pick your 2 or 3 things to focus on. Here is one suggestion:

  • Feet straight ahead
  • Weight in your heels
  • Calf Stretch

I reckon you could add some more, what's that I here you say? Surely not Mel! How about:

  • sit less
  • sit with good alignment
  • get up and move every 1/2 hour for 3 minutes

Mix it up a little bit. Go back to the last chair class blog and do that program once or twice a week (or every day is also fine by me!)

Then go back to some of the earlier ones and pick out some of the other stretches to do too. You can look to Katy Bowman's Restorative Exerciseblog for additional inspiration, and Martha Peterson's Somatic Website for her ideas about self care. They are very complementary modes of taking care of yourself and getting stronger and longer.

One of the main reasons I built the video downloads section was because of feedback that it is too hard to remember what we do in class. The shortest one is only 15 minutes long and the longest is 30 minutes. They are all floor based somatic practices, so that's a good place to go for a refresher too. Once you've downloaded a practice it is yours forever more, and you can watch them on your computer, your TV, even your phone. 

For those of you coming along to Series 2, I'm looking forward to seeing you. To everyone else - thanks for reading! Maybe see you one day soon. And also.....don't forget to calf stretch!

Here is a clip of the somatic exercise Washrag (Australian version should be called Dishcloth). It's a great allrounder - enjoy!