Posts in Movement/Exercise
How Low-Grade Inflammation Wreaks Havoc

Inflammation has been on mind. Why? Because recently I had a ‘Lyme flare-up’ that kicked in at the start of a nearly month-long travel adventure. Now, if I’m honest, the flare-up didn't come out of the blue. There were several subtle signals that I was kicking up a bit of low-grade inflammation in the weeks before I hit the road.

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Feldenkrais Is So Much More Than Movement

I LOVE reading The Elusive Obvious!

The book is only available in Hardback format; which brings me a special kind of sensorial gratification. As I hold the book in my hands, I can feel the strength of the binding and the subtle texture beneath my fingertips. The simplicity of the firm black and white cover delights my minimalist spirit as the title begs me to delve into a koan-istic approach to moving and learning.

As I flip through the dense and fibrous pages, I digest each word of somatic wonder. My mind starts to bend towards a deeper realization that this work, The Feldenkrais Method®, is so much more than movement. What we discover about ourselves can reverberate throughout our lives.

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Exploring. Learning. Breathing.

Have you ever wondered why you hold your breath when doing something new?

We often take our breath for granted, usually breathing in and out 12-16 times every minute without being aware of it. Most of us only notice our breath when something happens to prevent us from breathing normally or when we intentionally bring our attention to our breath as part of a mindfulness practice.

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More Movement. Less Exercise.

There is no life without movement. From the blood that pulses through our veins to the actions required to gather and consume food, your mind and body are intimately connected. And while your brain is the master control system for your body’s movement, the way you move can also affect the way you think and feel.

Some of the functions for movement are obvious — like hunting and gathering. Other critical aspects of movement may be less obvious — like the way movement acts as an extension of your cardiovascular system or primary pump for your lymphatic system. And then there are all the other ways movement impacts you emotionally, mentally, and socially.

There’s a lot I could say about movement. But for today, we'll focus on the importance of moving more in everyday life (i.e. more movement, less exercise).

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Do You Have Hip Joint Confusion?

So what’s with all the hoopla about the hip joints?

hoop·la   \ˈhü- plä\
: talk or writing that is designed to get people excited about and interested in something

Well, recently I have been a little obsessed and bewildered by how many people really don’t know where their hip joints are. Now I get it. The hip joints don’t take up a ton of real estate in the ol’ sensory-motor cortex. They don’t require fine motor skills or other subtle interactions with the world. Heck, they don’t even fully form until years after we are born.

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Walking Awareness

One of my favorite things to do is to take an early morning walk on the beach or out in nature. I love the playfulness of the wind sweeping off the water and the acrobatic birds playing in the waves. I love how the clean fresh morning air dances with the sound of the ocean and the sense of an expansive settling that arise from within. I am inspired to play with my own movement experience.

Often when we are walking down the street, we are not thinking about the way we walking, how our skeleton moves, or what muscles we’re using, or whether the pressure of every step is subtly hurting some part of our body. Our goal is simply to get from where we are to where we are going, and often without much awareness of the process. Even taking a morning stroll on the beach can be void of awareness. We can be entranced by the world around us without necessarily sensing ourselves in it.

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Images Of Aging The Feldenkrais Way

We have all been told that aging brings with it aches, pains and loss of function. Many of us have even accepted the fact that joint pain is inevitable and that we will someday have to give up doing those things that bring us the most joy.

But what if there’s another way?

Recently a growing number of people are finding another way. They are finding their way to the Feldenkrais Method® — a type of somatic movement that incorporates small, intentional physical movements with mental visualization to teach the body how to move more efficiently and effectively.

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Feldenkrais or Yoga?

The Feldenkrais Method® can enhance your awareness and provide you with an anchor for self-study, both on and off of the yoga mat.

In fact, the movements of Feldenkrais® can serve as a conduit to a deeper connection to yourself and is one of the ways in which it’s similar to yoga. The difference, however, is how we go about those movements. But those differences can vary from person-to-person and from teacher-to-teacher (lineage or style).

In most yoga that is taught throughout the United States, we are often working our way into an asana— discovering our boundaries and softening into them. We employ the art of stretching the muscles & aligning the skeleton and we reside in our awareness. Feeling each subtle adjustment that can be made for a bigger sense of space and ease. Noticing what arises in our thoughts & emotions. Freeing ourselves of the muckety-muck we have gathered in our body, mind, and soul.

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From Trail Troubles to Happy Hiking

A few weeks ago I went on a relatively short and easy hike in the woods, a trail I had been on before. It led to a beautiful watering hole where a stream became a waterfall, ultimately flowing into a large pool for swimming before continuing onward. The trail was quite wide and did not have many obstructions to deal with; it was also relatively flat.

Along I plodded, anxious to reach the water to cool off as it was an exceptionally hot and muggy day.  Halfway there and my feet and back were already tiring. By the time I reached all of the action, which was only a mile in, my feet had moved past tiring to aching.

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Mindful Movements in Laundry Moments

Are you moving through your day without fully living? It is easy to pass through daily activities and wait for something to happen — to wake us up and grab our attention. I have fallen into this mindless trap, where my subconscious was suspended in a subtle state of constantly preparing for something later.

One way to fully live today is by being mindful and practicing a bit of everyday awareness.

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Moving In Water

For better or worse, cold weather has finally arrived in the Northeast. I actually prefer the cool, crisp air of Winter over the hot and muggy days of Summer.

Still, I am not a huge fan of outdoor walks this time of year. So I was faced with the perennial question, “What can I do to keep moving this winter?” My favorite answer: Swimming! Indoors, that is. Probably not surprisingly, I shiver at the thought of joining one of these ‘polar bear’ clubs where some folks run into icy cold lakes in their skivvies!

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