Body Sense

AUTUMN | 2017

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Page 12 of 15

TRACKING: PRACTICE ELEMENTAL MOVEMENTS WITH HEALTHY ALIGNMENT When we think of movement, our minds often go big—my mind always recalls the superhuman leaps of dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov. But sometimes the movement we need most for our bodies is small and quiet. In this exercise from Fraser, awareness, patience, and slow fluidity are key. EXERCISE 1. In a standing position, bring your attention to your pelvis and legs. 2. Organize your feet, ankles, shins, knees, and thigh bones under your pelvis. 3. Slowly bend your knees slightly. Notice where they are headed. Are your knees tracking straight over your feet? Are they parallel? You may feel your knees' tendency to go off center. You may feel resistance in your ankles or hips. 4. Reset and try again. Bend your knees a little bit, tracking them straight forward over each respective foot. 5. Simultaneously reach your sitz bones straight back—just a little. As much as your knees lengthen forward, lengthen your sitz bones back. 6. Track your knees back to straight legs. Repeat the exercise. Move slowly and smoothly. EXERCISE 1. Feel the stacked segments of your body. Feel your feet, shins, thigh bones, pelvis, abdomen and lower back region, rib cage, neck, and head. 2. Do any segments feel too far forward? Too far back? Right or left? Twisted, shifted, or tilted? If one segment goes forward, another is likely to go backward. If one shifts to the right, another is likely to shift to the left. Body segments need support from underneath. It's easier to rest with a reliable foundation. 3. Play with gentle adjustments to restore natural relationships in your body. Your 30-Pound Head Forward-head posture is a detrimental condition that's all too prevalent in our high-tech society, due to excessive texting and computer time. Experts say that for every inch of forward-head posture, the weight of the head on the spine increases by 10 pounds. So, our normal 12-pound head easily tacks on another 20 pounds when it sits forward of the shoulders by 2 inches, a posture frequently seen in those with desk jobs. This extra weight can pull the spine out of alignment, cut lung capacity, and even affect digestion. Look around you. How many people can you see who are carrying a much heavier load on their shoulders than they should be? And you? Pull that head back over the spine, focus on alignment, and leave the weightlifting for the gym. Body Sense 13

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