Archive for better walking
What causes us to tilt or walk with a hitch in certain ways? How do we get out of it?
Traumas, falls and accidents can leave you whomp sided, although you will do the best you can to move as well as you can afterwards.
Even habits–such as driving a car and sliding the leg long to depress the gas pedal over and over again or the way you sit or work creates certain patterns.
Our unconscious habitual ways we stand or motion or move ourself can reinforce patterns which serve us to a point. When things become uncomfortable or we’re held in a titled or shifted manner, we’re left compensating.
The simple act of standing and feeling yourself can reveal comfort or discomfort. You can stand as you normally stand and wait. Feel whatever sensations or feelings come up as you simply stand and feel from within how you are feeling in the moment you take to check in.
When you take a moment to consider how you move your entire self or parts of yourself doing any physical activity, you might uncover certain surprises which can open both the brain and body to new possibilities and you’ll certainly learn how coordinated you are or aren’t.
For example, by driving a left hand drive or right hand drive car, you’d certainly feel a shift of a learned habit by fumbling for a moment on a new habit or physical activity to learn.
This can let you know how one sided, how predominant and how whomp sided you may have become over the years of doing a physical movement in a certain way.
There is nothing wrong with specializing a movement pattern or doing regular exercise over and over, unless we feel certain discomforts.
But what if you went inside and fine tuned your nervous system so it could respond in a different un-whomped, less cattywampus manner?
Regaining conscious voluntary control with the muscles and your movement system–a system of coordination–starting with signals from the brain to generate a movement can unlock cattywampus tendencies and patterns.
The lower brain does learned movement and acts to balance or coordinate a movement. It becomes unconscious and automatic so you don’t have to think about it.
The signals up and down the nervous system to self-adjust tension, compression, extension, rotation–mostly go un-noticed.
The sense receptors of the tendons, ligaments, joints, bones, muscles and the fascia tune in and shift to move you around.
Imagine having to pay attention to all of that on a minute to minute basis. It would almost be incomprehensible. Your descriptions of all the senses you notice could be all over the place as to the what or how this feels like to you.
The inner game or inner knowing of our internal connections is a place where many no longer visit. The price for not visiting and checking in can result in discomfort and the feelings of pain being generated.
Your inner self is waiting to be explored. The act of pandiculation is your natural birthright to self-correct. The system of somatics exercises uses the act of pandiculation to target the brain’s motor cortex. This is far different than regular exercise since the movements are done with a greater consciousness.
How you either evolve or de-evolve physically is a choice in the inner game or somatic mastery of yourself.
By not playing in the inner realm, you can lose contact with yourself, your own vitality, and your own sense of well-being. Your memory can fade and most obviously, you may not move or feel as well as you used to.
This has nothing to do with age, it is simply abdicating the inner self. The painful or discomforting signals we feel have an opposite in the pleasurable signals, feelings and sensations you can regenerate.
To be able to walk comfortably can be set up by feeling and self-adjusting your joints, the smaller muscles, and the smaller parts of walking itself. Then when you walk, you can feel at a deeper level whatever you want to tune into as you walk.
You might even feel the shifts which can occur as you walk when you quiet your internal dialogue and simply feel how your body moves and changes as you walk.
This type of inner knowledge is invaluable since it serves to keep you connected to yourself and to the earth as you navigate without walking sticks, special shoes, knee braces, taping your muscles, etc.
In other words, to move like a comfortable human animal is to fully feel the sensations of walking itself and how this grand act changes during a simple walk.
Instead of focusing on how far or how fast you walk, you could tune into the adjustments which take place when you walk on the cracks in the sidewalk, how your foot turns over a cobblestone path, or how your hips shift if the hill or slant is a bit sideways.
You can even play one of our favorite somatic games – place your fingers on your ears and close them. Then walk and listen as you walk on some pavement. Can you hear your own internal sound?
Then find the earth and listen now to how your body speaks to you.
Please join us in a different somatics exercise walking class.
You’ll begin with our normal somatic way of exploring movements on the ground. You’ll get to reset tension back to comfortable levels. Then you’ll shift to our normal upright ways and play with walking in a way you may not have for some time.
You’ll gain greater awareness and ultimately better control which you can bank on, even as you age.
You can go from cattywampus and back to somatic mastery by joining us in our online somatics exercise class which is available for immediate access.
That moment led me to the work of helping people overcome physical pain. In my 30+ year journey of living in pain, getting out of pain, and eventually learning how to help others… I’d like to give you a freebie somatics exercise class.
Go below, so you can get to download a quick, simple set of movements over at my sister site. You’ll get to hear a 14 minute audio recording. You’ll get to play with one of the more familiar somatics exercise patterns which is helpful to release trauma, improve walking, free up the side or waist muscles… and it’ll give you another way to not stretch those side muscles.
Once you learn this move, you might think and move differently to release the muscles of your side.
Why an audio recording instead of a video? When we listen, we target a specific part of the brain. When we watch, we use a different part.
All you have to do is lie back, follow along and your brain will relax the muscles as you regain or improve function at the same time. You’ll be able to go at your own pace and move well within your own comfort zone depending on your unique set of circumstances.
What’s the catch? Just make a comment or ask your questions inside the downnload area after you’ve done the movements.
Hurry, this offer is good for a few days..
See you on our sister site…
Pain free moves and living made easy with somatics exercises.
The Cat Stretch is what Thomas Hanna called the daily maintenance somatics exercise program in his book, Somatics.
The cat stretch is a misnomer even though we often see our furry felines appearing to stretch.
Cat Stretch is not Stretching
When a cat stretches, it is actually tightening or contracting a series of muscles. We’ve come to find out this is called a pandiculation. When we do this entire act, our muscles lengthen and become more relaxed.
Our clever cat uses its brain’s motor cortex to initiate a movement, which at first glance looks like a stretch. You’ve seen a cat round its back. It’s not stretching the back, it’s pulling the belly in and using the abdominal muscles to pull back.
Then… it’ll release itself. The abs are reset and ready to be used. Healthy vertebrate animals naturally reset their muscles and movement system periodically throughout the day. No wonder they rest so well. If only we could do the same.
Cat Stretch – 7 Simple Movements
Fortunately, some 300 years after we learned about pandiculations. This very act brings muscles to rest. The system of somatics exercises teaches us how to go cortical and re-establish length and comfort in our movement system. Watch the fast version of the cat stretch below.
Here is what the 7 simple movements of the cat stretch address.
1. The first movement wakes up the brain, spine and hips.
2. The second movement helps to release tightness in our front side, such as the abdomen. This will allow the back to further lengthen.
3. This movement relaxes the muscles of the back, from the neck all the way down to the foot.
4. The fourth move releases held tension levels in the hips and chest. If we’re locked-in from too much sitting or hard work, this is a go to release.
5. Most everyone’s favorite movement, this delicious move lengthens the spine, frees up the hips and shoulders… and is enough to purr along.
6. A 3 part lower body sequence to free up the feet and ankles and connect up to the hips, back and head. This helps to straighten out the legs for better walking and balance in running.
7. The final movement of the cat stretch addresses the neck, back rotation and hip mobility in a delightful seated manner. You may not need the car mirrors anymore after this.
Cat Stretch Audio Recording
Healthy animals do a number of morning resets. We can simply follow along with a morning routine of the cat stretch somatics exercises designed for the human animal. Once you learn the routine, it only takes minutes to remind the muscles of their natural length, while at the same improving the mobility we need for the day.
Just like a good cat stretch at night, we can drift off and sleep more easily too.
The Cat Stretch daily maintenance somatics exercises program is now available to download and enjoy in the comfort of your home – meow.
We often hear about a core workout. So how do we go about knowing what to do and what will help us?
The middle of our self is what many call the core. How we move the core and translate our coordination out to our extremities is important. We can then move easily, agilely and powerfully when we need to.
We used to believe our muscles were attached to the bone. Now we’ve come to understand our muscles are attached to other muscles. We generate movement with our brain’s intention. We let it coordinate our actions and we know whether or not there is room for some improvement.
A Complete Core Workout
The core is generally considered to use the muscles of the spine. In the front, muscles such as the abs, and in the back, those muscles which run from the neck to the lower back. On our sides, we can use our waist muscles.
A core workout wouldn’t be considered complete if we left out the hips or pelvis muscles. A typical core workout could be doing a variety of ab crunches so we can help stabilize the spine and protect the back.
Can a core workout be too much of a good thing? Certainly some people specifically focus on the abs. If you want a core workout such as this, just hold your breath. That way you can develop your six-pack abs and stabilize all you want.
Too much of core workout centered on the abs can eventually pull the chest wall down and leave you with a tight stomach, a sunken chest or less mobility. The other way to achieve this is to sit too much and let gravity take care of it.
On the other hand, the one big muscle, the brain, controls the resting levels of our muscles. Mel Siff, the author of Facts and Fallacies of Fitness, noted that reprogramming the brain was more important than strength training or aerobics.
Instead of stabilizing our spine for a base of support we can use our dynamic movement system for easy, comfortable movement. When we need more power, we can use our ability to generate it with a seamless transfer throughout our entire coordinated being.
A core workout for good posture
To be able to sit comfortably with a good posture takes the requisite amount of balance of tension. Too much on one side and we could be pulled too far forwards, shifted to one side, rotated or slumped back.
Maintaining our mobility so we can move comfortably lets us use our natural flexibility to be strong. Lose the flexibility, diminish the mobility and now the posture will struggle to keep upright or even walk comfortably.
When we shift towards a brain based way of reprogramming tension levels, then sitting and walking becomes more effortless. A good posture is maintained by the signals we can self-corrects through our sensitivity of this fine balance in tension levels.
A simple easy core workout can be the reminder it takes. Minor or micro-adjustments can be the shift we need or have forgotten to remember to use to be able sit comfortably upright without a back support. The best back is the one you have and can maintain with ease.
Rock around the clock core workout
Simple, easy movement using an intention to move uses our brain’s intelligence to rewire the nervous system so our muscle to muscle system is enhanced. This enhancement is how healthy vertebrate animals naturally reset themselves and remain agile and powerful.
You can join me in this week’s online core workout where you’ll learn how to rock around the clock and free up the front, back, sides, and length of the spine. We’ll also get those hips and pelvis involved.
All you have to do is lie down, listen and follow along. It’s “oh too simple”.
A core workout doesn’t have to be arduous, we can simply move and coordinate our own powerful actions to leave us both relaxed and ready.
Walking with pain everyday
Are you walking with pain when all you want to is go on a leisurely walk and be comfortable?
Being able to walk comfortably can be ours again when we remind our muscles of their connections to each other simply through the natural act of a pandiculation. Fortunately the “p” word has been systematized as somatics exercises
I remember what it was like to walk a mere 50 feet and my shoulder would sear in pain. It was no fun to go on a walk.
The hips on the other hand, had felt off track and had been clunking around since the age of 14 when I first noticed it. Pain seemed to come out of nowhere on the side of the hips, that stitch in the side, or the back of the legs when I experienced that hot poker of sciatica – ouch, ouch, ouch.
When we get off track, we can get back on by losing what un-tracks us. Sounds complicated. It really isn’t.
Walking in pain is miserable. Who wants to walk when we know if we do, bad things can happen. So why bother.
By not doing one of our more natural acts, we’re doing a great disservice to our self. It’s a tough situation to be in, you want to walk and then you end up walking with pain.
Walking has been considered one of the best exercises we can do for any number of health reasons but doesn’t that sound kind of lame. We’re the two legged animal, this is what we’re here to do. Walking in pain isn’t the option we’d like.
Walking with pain and compensations
A couple of considerations to amble easily is to have things arranged with less compensations or habits of movement which no longer serve us.
If we live with a rotated hip and it clunks or doesn’t move well, this can have negative effects on the knee, ankle or our back. We’ll do a walking rather than ambulate with ease and grace.
Tight, stiff, overly tensed leg muscles which restrict or inhibit movement may result from compensatory habits, injuries or even lack of water. Diet plays a role since the muscles need fuel. Re-programming our movement patterns, on the other hand, has been lost on many people.
If we’re not self-correcting, we’re missing opportunities to lengthen muscles back into shape. Those lazy dogs which sleep all day usually don’t miss a beat and pandiculate themselves after periods of being sedentary.
If we’re sitting for hours on end for instance, this type of day in day out programming doesn’t help us walk any better. The muscles atrophy towards dis-use which furthers our inflexible hobbling ways.
The good news is, we can reprogram the muscles so walking in pain no longer afflicts us. We can improve the connections of our muscles by moving our parts lazily around in a conscious manner where the brain resets tension levels.
Reducing tension allows us to self-correct, change our compensations and gives us new ways to move so walking with pain no longer is an issue.
Walking with pain online class
To end our uncomfortable ways, you can learn some simple, easy movements which resets our muscles back to comfortable resting levels. When our muscles are programmed to be more relaxed, they remember how to get there more quickly.
Please join me for an online class of somatics exercises where you’ll learn how to lessen walking with pain. All you have to do is lie down, listen, and follow along to free things up.
Recapturing our youthful ways of movement is a memory not long forgotten, we just haven’t accessed the part of our brain which can restore and refresh our muscles so walking with pain is a thing of the past we can forget.
Does Fido understand the art of movement better than us?
The Art of Movement Loosens Stiffness
Aging seems to come with a price of more stiffness, less mobility and flexibility which is a long forgotten memory. So why does Fido continue to move well as he ages?
Simply put, he pandiculates. He sets himself up for successful movement when he practices what appears as those morning stretches. Instead of stretching, he is contracting himself along a series of muscles in order to gain both relaxation and function.
This art of movement practice virtually goes unnoticed by us yet is key to moving well.
Free Muscle Cramps with the Art of Movement
When is the last time you saw Fido run and get a muscle cramp? All we have to do is rollover in bed… and out go the lights. Ouch!
To free a muscle cramp or muscular spasm is no big deal when you come to understand the art of movement which will easily and surely release what seems to be a mystery for many.
A tight, tensed up muscle releases itself not by pulling away in the opposite direction. This forceful method continues to be the way most people go at it.
On the flipside is to use an internal switch by learning how to tune down the built-up or holding tension. This is done by subtle movements in the direction of the offending signal.
Obviously there is an art of movement required here, yet anyone can learn how to successfully release a cramp.
The Art of Movement At Home
Good news is you don’t have to travel far to regain or master the art of movement.
Please join me for an online somatics exercise class where you’ll gain access to the art of movement using the power of subtlety to erase stiffness, regain mobility and restore the lost sense of flexibility.
Youthful movement isn’t just for the young. The art of movement can be practiced at any age.
Better walking by not walking?
I remember when I could barely walk 50 feet and my shoulders would sear in pain and my ongoing tight back… well it would simply stiffen more as I trudged my way through it like a trooper. Why oh why?
Good news is, I was moving. The bad news, it wasn’t getting better and so after some time I just learned to continue to move painfully and suck it up.
So what can we do about better walking?
To be able to facilitate better walking, just imagine those lost feelings we had of childlike, easy movement.
We all know how well a panther can move.
Setting up movement is what all healthy vertebrate animals do before they have to run away or go after the prey.
Walking with stiffness like a zombie scared a lot of us as kids. Why did we lose our childlike feelings of easy, effortless movement? Is this the reward of aging or forgetting to move like an animal.
Better Walking by Not Exercising
The other side of the coin is using our brain, the one big muscle, to facilitate better mobility, agility and flexibility naturally as all healthy vertebrate animals do.
Simply through the conscious act of a pandiculation which has been systematized as somatics exercises can we move more effectively.
Somatics is not exercise in the traditional manner since all we are doing is using the brain to decrease excessive muscular contraction levels.
By decreasing those levels, we can move more easily so better walking is accomplished through the release of held muscular positions that we consciously can’t let go off or those that we aren’t aware of in the moment.
You can access this online class for better walking now.