Katy Bowman has said that you learn alignment in layers and the truth of this has made itself known to me many times over the years. You work with the ideas as they make sense to you and then one day another lightbulb goes off and some other aspect of the program will click into gear. Sometimes it is actually a painful situation that can trigger the next breakthrough.
That has been the case for me recently. Our mattress is due for replacing and I’ve ordered a new one but in the days it is taking to arrive I’ve finally got tired of waking up feeling creaky and sometimes achey. I kept hearing Katy’s voice in my head talking about getting down on the floor to sleep. So a few nights ago I decided to give it a try. The benefits in my case were instant and I’m happy to talk to you more about it in person and even show you photos of how I’ve set it up. But I don’t want to encourage folk to rush into it either. As I mentioned in paragraph 1, I’m a few years in! Just like moving into minimal shoes your body has to be ready for it and floor sleeping, too, is best approached in layers. Katy wrote a wonderful blog about it which she updated just this year. Here is the link. If you want to move towards more minimal sleeping make sure you read this first. Click here to read it.
This week we’ll be working on shoulders. Katy has a great piece on Arm Swing in Move Your DNA, page 184. Here is an excerpt:
“Reciprocal arm swing is the reflexive (you don’t have to think about it) backward action of one arm at the same time as the backward action of the opposite leg. This motion is a natural balancing mechanism that reduces the tendency of the spine to rotate and it saves the spinal muscles from having to overly tense to stabilize the spine with every step.”
As we’ve been uncovering overusing the back when walking is a big problem for modern movers and correct arm swing not only reduces that tendency but also increases work that tones the arms, improves circulation and makes every step more efficient too. It’s why it’s been one of our 2 key exercises this term, along with single leg balance. Our final few weeks of classes will bring our adventures together and have you ready to head off for some wonderful summertime adventures.