Learning to Live Comfortably and Efficiently in Your Body
Living in a human body demands a unique array of skill sets which are both biomechanical and neurologic in nature. No matter your age or your fitness level, we all want to feel at home in our bodies. Some people seem to have this naturally, while the rest of us mere mortals struggle with balance, coordination, flexibility, and strength issues that impair our ability to live our lives without thinking about it.
People that don’t have to think about their bodies are usually natural athletes that have never had an injury or succumbed to ravages of aging. Envision an extraordinary athlete – let’s take Michael Jordan: he is strong, yet supple and fluid. He is very nearly ambidextrous and has extraordinary hand/eye coordination. Definitely a goal to aspire to. I wish I could tell you that all of us had the innate athletic qualities of Michael Jordan, but I can’t. What I can tell you with certainty that every body - even mine – can improve its athletic acumen.
I say, “even mine”, because from the time I can remember I was the world’s worst athlete. As a little kid, my Mom was told by a ballet teacher that she shouldn’t waste her time or money. She was also told about the same thing by a horse-back riding teacher. I was excused out of gym class for gymnastics because I couldn’t even do a somersault, let alone a cartwheel etc. I could not throw or catch a ball. (Luckily, I did have some other non-athletic talents.) Athletically, all I ever wanted was to be able to ride my horse well, but quickly realized that my body was preventing me from achieving my goals.
In order for our bodies to work well, we must endeavor to create a unique combination of mental relaxation, strength, flexibility, balance and ambidextrosity. Many of these traits dependent on a muscularly symmetrical body. Body imbalances and asymmetries develop over time, based on your own particular physiology, posture and lifestyle. How you move in general, your forms of exercise (or lack thereof), and the amount of time and the quality of how you sit and stand all effect the quality of your life. Asymmetries influence your movement, alignment and flexibility, which greatly affect your effectiveness as a human body. I use exercise modalities, primarily Pilates/Equilates and Echart Meyners Balimo work to help people identify their unique issues and help them find ways to rebalance.
Pilates (as well as other types of body work) increases your body awareness, and improves your flexibility, strength, and balance. Its primary goal is to lengthen the spine and strengthen the core, which stabilizes the body in movement. Eckart Meyners’ Balimo work is based on the premise that all bodies have the ability to “relearn” the neural connections they have “forgotten” due to injury, over-use, miss-use or non-use. These connections are what allow the body to “go with the flow.”