Most people have no idea how they move. Think about it – no one really takes time to be conscious about how they move. But this body awareness is an important and valuable skill, and it’s unfortunate that it so often gets overlooked.
Why is body awareness important? There are a lot of reasons, so today I’ll talk about two. The first is that having good body awareness will help make you less prone to accidents, injury, and overexertion. Mindfulness about how you are moving and feeling can go a long way to keeping you healthy in the long run. The second reason is that when you do become injured, increased body awareness helps you better figure out the reasons when, why, and where in your body you have pain. All this extra info will be a big help to your doctors, to get you the correct diagnosis and proper treatment plan.
So with those reasons in mind, how do you learn to be more mindful of your body? Like all skills, body awareness comes with practice and ultimately you have to work at learning better awareness with time. One of the best ways to do this is to take a class on some kind of gentle movement practice – this can be a soft martial art like tai chi (taijiquan), or one of the gentler yoga styles that focuses on good posture and breathing in each pose (asana). Another good way to learn body awareness outside of classes is to take a few minutes each day where you put your mind and focus into each movement you do – putting on a shirt, tying your shoes, making breakfast, whatever. The important thing during this period is to focus on your movement. When you walk is your foot placement even, or do you walk closer to the heels or on the outside edge of one foot? When you pick up something can you feel your core engage, or just your arms? Sense the things that you can sense when you take a few moments to do this, and in a few months you’ll have gained a much greater awareness of your body.
Uncertain why your body seems to move the way it does? Call or schedule a consultation today and we can help you figure it out!