I met with a fitness trainer on Tuesday – I’ve decided to bring some expertise and accountability to my workout and weight loss process and I figure that a little cheerleading doesn’t hurt either! As part of our introductory process, we did a postural assessment where I walked, stood, and squatted before the appraising eyes of the instructor (good thing both of us have a sense of humour or the whole thing would have been really embarrassing) – and then she pointed out my areas for correction. On the plus side, I have strong upper body carriage which is apparently unusual for desk/computer workers like myself. I chalk that up to daily meditation as it has made me much more aware of my posture. On the down side, when I am standing I roll my shoulders so that my palms are facing to my back and not my front. This is a common problem for those of us who sit at keyboards, because our hands are by necessity facing palms down for most of the day – but this isn’t the natural orientation of our shoulders! Having not given the mechanics of my body at rest and at work much thought – this has never really occurred to me – our shoulders are only really in neutral when our palms are facing out (up rather than down). If you have a tendency to sit or stand with your palms facing into your body, try turning them out right now with intention and you’ll feel your alignment improve immediately.
This morning I walked the six km to work (I’m aiming for 2 days of walking to work per week on my non-intense cardio days) – which is a great time to work on alignment and postural stuff . Although it felt a bit unnatural at first, I spent my walk with my palms turned outwards, thinking about how easy it is to accidentally program ourselves into contorted positions and habits that are generally bad for us – and while it’s not so simple to unprogram these behaviours, a little intention goes a long way.
I’m feeling really empowered around this at the moment because I have got myself back into the daily routines of exercise and healthy eating – bringing a lot more attention to these areas of my life in addition to the positive habit of meditation that I’ve cultivated over the last couple of years – and I am conscious of how much closer to human I feel when I start to shed the programmed behaviours and become more clear about my ability to step out of that programming and into another frame of being – in my body, community, neighbourhood, practice, household.
Just a small realization that I’m working to apply as I emerge from the winter and the cocoon of my body to a renewed self.