Our bodies were designed for natural movement but we lose the ability the more we adapt to culture (like sitting in chairs and wearing stiff and tight shoes). The more we adapt, the more mobility we lose.
To test this for yourself, try a simple experiment. How easily can you get down to the floor and up again? How many ‘props’ do you need, including bracing your hands or elbows on your thighs, holding on to a chair, or pressing your hands into the floor?
Children don’t have a problem getting up and down (unless they have a physical problem, of course). Babies spend a good deal of their time trying to stand and then falling back down again.
Now, assuming you had some difficulty with getting down and up from the floor (and I’m assuming you did just because most adults do), how old were you when you first began to notice you were becoming less agile?
We assume our loss of strength and mobility is because of aging, but really it is because we stop moving. That is all there is to it, really.
In Nia dance movement classes, I remember hearing groans when lead the participants in quickly getting down to the floor and up again. They are fine when it comes to the end of the class and they know they are going to be on the floor for awhile, but to quickly drop to the floor for a moment is often a challenge for a group of regular exercisers and movers.
To sum it up, our tool-using, comfort driven lifestyle has resulted in deterioration of the number and function of our muscles, as shown by our difficulty in doing basic natural movements like getting up from the floor unassisted. This affects our joints and our internal organs, and causes pain and disease. Our body machines, that wonderful design and masterpiece of engineering is ailing, just because we grew up and stopped playing.
And of course, you know that antidote to that.
And the photo above? I was in the watercourse following the little one, thoroughly enjoying splashing about. And today I was at the playground swinging on monkey bars with the kids. But I will admit freely that there is so much more room in my life for play.
This is a movement form I like to do. It is from Nia 5 Stages and takes you through a great floor play. Do this every day for a week and I guarantee you’ll feel more mobility and agility.