Monday, August 27, 2012

Where does life suck in your body

I've been working at improving my personal biomechanics for many years.  Those of you who have been around me for the last couple of decades might know that my left knee started acting up in the early 90s [probably talking to me long before that ] finally locking up in the mid-90s and STILL I managed to ignore it.

Now, no one would call getting rear-ended on the freeway good-fortune, yet in hind sight it most certainly was: it lead me to chiropractor and a physical therapist, neither of which i'd ever seen before in life.  During these encounters I came understand what was going on with some of my muscles and my knee.  Oh yes, and I was introduced to a homeopathic arnica gel concoction [a great thing to know about].

I'd studied pilates earlier in life and after the accident I took it up once again with a vengance.  It worked wonders for me.  My knee started working again.  I told everyone how to fix their physical problems through core conditioning!  I certified.  I taught others so my friends could be left in peace (well, once my student teaching hours were completed).  Skip down the road (well I could almost skip) a decade and while a well-conditioned core is a really good thing to have, I had to study Alignment/Restorative Exercise to get my knee back to a place where I can skip down the road [and I can].  I've been at the alignment thing for a little more than a year.

While I am pretty physical and do a lot of stuff, I am also pretty lazy.  It's precisely because I'm lazy that I love both my alignment practice and core conditioning:  because once you're on board with these concepts, life in general becomes easier and makes it possible to really enjoy all the rest of the time I'm alive in this body.

Life's better when your body works.  Can I get an amen?  No one likes doing the "100s" (well I don't know anyone who does).  And the first time one stretches muscle that's been ignored for longer than overnight, a uniformly pleasant experience it's not :o) In a relatively short period of time (my 500-hr. pilates certification took longer) I have come a long way toward being completely happy in my body and I'm in my sixties.  I'm not perfect and I don't even care how much farther I have to go, I'm so happy.  OK.  I'll shut up already about how happy I am.

Life's been trying lately.  I've lost my Mother recently. Other stuff.  And I realize that I deal with my emotional issues energetically [in my body].  A month ago I walked all the time.  Lately I fit this activity in if I can manage to push this immobilization out of the way.  It's as if I have been possessed by evil spirits who keep me playing sudoku for hours on end (I know, I could be eating ice cream, too).  Calf stretching?  Who has time?  All this to say:  when you find yourself in times of trouble, how do you react?  (as I type this I realize I could be walking instead of typing)

I'm back.  Ordinarily I'd edit this out of a blog BUT THIS IS THE WHOLE POINT of what I'm saying (and maybe just to myself).  We're meant to move. When you're not busy moving around, maintaining the goldilocks length of your muscles, they're tightening up, getting pulled out of alignment, gravity is deforming you, and it's not as much fun to be in one's skin.  (if you had a standing workstation right now you could be aligned and even stretching your calves while reading). And maybe you are but even if you aren't, thanks for reading. :o)  Think about the happiest times of your life, and I'll bet they're when you were doing cool stuff.  It's hard to sit still in enthusiasm.

And so we all go through stuff that bums us out.  I seem like a cool customer (I was raised in NYC where it's good to put on a united front) but when the going gets tough, my digestion slows way down, and my tight places get tighter.  Where are your tight places?  Are you into your 2nd hour gazing into a lighted screen?  Maybe it's time for a stroll.  At the very least, time to stand and stretch.  There.  That feels better, no? 

Life is sweeter when I'm able to be aware and in touch with myself in life's largest terms.  I go for a walk by the water's edge (SF Bay nearby) and I become aware of my place in this present earthly configuration.  Breathing's bigger and easier.  Oh, yes.  Body:  temple of the soul?  The nearer I get to the goldilocks place, the more sense that makes.

So how's your temple today?  Ribcage mobilizing as you breathe?  Calves got that long look and easy feeling?  The goldilocks thing all starts from the soles of your feet and works its way up.   Think I'll take a little walk.   Check the mail and my reciprocal arm swing.  :o) For the time being, I'm using any excuse.

And if you don't know anything about the aforementioned goldilocks thing, alignment, or restorative exercise (but would like to have more fun in your body) there is a bunch of great information available @ and a lot of great instruction available @  Come on over to Point Richmond for a class, or ask me to locate a REx practitioner near you.