We Get What We Practice
From time to time, I think of the saying “We become what we repeatedly do” (Will Durant) or my own version – we get what we practice. Sometimes though, we’re not aware of what we’re doing. We may actually be doing something different than we think! And that little difference could be making our life less pleasant.
Like turning around this cargo ship, it can seem overwhelming to change our long-held movement or postural habits. But it’s not impossible. We influence the big picture by our small daily decisions. Even a tiny change, a one-degree shift in direction, can radically change the destination. It won’t happen all at once; it requires ongoing attention and willingness to explore – and make mistakes.
Try a few short practices to begin your one-degree shift
— As the computer starts up or while waiting for something to load or print, rock and roll your pelvis. Roll backward and forward on your sitting bones without. leaning your head forward and backward; shift from one sitting bone to the other while keeping your head centered; roll around in a circle, feeling your spine round outward and arch a bit inward, as well as bend side to side. Want more? Try the Pelvic Clock audio movement practice.
— Ready for a bigger challenge? Add a de-stabilizer — only if it’s safe for you, though! Doing so much zoom teaching prompted me to get out my small inflatable balance trainer. Smooth on one side, pointy on the other, it’s usually on my stool these days, subtly encouraging me to stay upright with tiny movement adjustments. When I want an additional challenge, I add a small hard foam roller (AKA pool noodle) under my feet.
— When you’re walking, notice where you look. Are you missing some of the scenery? Only glance downward briefly to get an idea of what’s ahead, quickly returning your head to its rightful place on top of your spine.
— When eating, see if you could you bring the food to your mouth, rather than taking your head forward to the food. And if you do need to move forward, lean a bit from your hip joints rather than collapsing your spine and ribs to move your head forward.
— As you prepare to fall asleep, notice your shape. Are you lying on your side, all curled over in a sort of fetal position? Are you on your back with pillows under your head that carry your head forward in a slumped forward or looking down posture? Move around a bit and adjust your pillow to find a way to lie comfortably that keeps your spine and head in more neutral alignment.
One of the benefits of regular ATM lessons is an increase in your ability to sense what you are doing, the relationships between parts of yourself and where you are in space. Check out current classes HERE. Then you can make the tiny adjustment that makes the difference.
Remember, we get what we practice — even if we don’t know what we’re doing!