Any mindful movement is medicinal for the body, soul and mind. That is to say that any movement performed with a deep attention to what is occurring within, with intelligence in how the movement is made, can allow the body to heal.
So much of what we do every day is unconscious. How many people have you heard suffered injuries just because they moved without presence? They got out of bed the wrong way, or lifted something without bending their knees, they twisted after a long stint of sitting. Then there’s the habitual patterns; driving whilst leaning to one side, rounding the spine while sitting, leaning into one leg whilst brushing our teeth and so on.
Habitual unconscious movement patterns have numerous issues for our bodies. Obviously, constantly wearing the body down in ways that are harmful is going to cause pain or problems later down the line (of time and literal body lines!). But there’s also the issue of the body turning up the volume of pain or pressure slowly; but our not hearing the messages. What tends to happen in these cases is we acknowledge them as teeny problems we can recall for the past few weeks, months or even years, that have ‘suddenly got worse’.
Any habitual unconscious movement pattern is likely to cause eventual problems. And in a world that is focused on external distractions, there is little time for us to focus on how we move through our lives every day.
To bring some attention on how we move into, through and out of certain spaces and places brings some energy to those areas. And we start to realise that we haven’t been moving with full awareness.
One of Yoga’s most popular teachers (possibly Iyengar) famously remarked that you only need look into your insoles of a well-used pair of shoes to see how you have been standing and walking. There are so many simple ways to notice the long-term patterns of how we hold and move our bodies about.
To bring attention and resolve any issues along the way, ultimately gives reward along the rest of the body. Everything is interconnected; it can be obvious if we say that hip issues can lead to knee issues. But if we say that our eyes are connected to our stomach, that can seem a little more radical. The truth is that it is all connected.
So, to change a negative habitual pattern in one part, is to heal another in a different part.
And the beauty of it is that in learning to listen and observe the patterns of one space, we tend to be more aware of how we move beyond the edges of the mat.
Here we aren’t seeking huge changes. It’s baby steps that matter. Like when we learnt to move from crawling to walking; a huge feat when you think about it, yet we’ve all done it, and we did it with little intellect but a lot of body intelligence.