Friday, April 20, 2012

Your Body is Afraid & What that Means for Your Mind

Here's a fact about probably just about every human on this planet: your bodies are out of mechanical alignment.

You might look like you have "good posture," but that is not the same thing.

Posture is cultural, and right now, we are, generally speaking, a forward leaning, rib thrusting, shoulder pinching people (just to name a few of the more obvious issues).

That posture even manages to "look good" on many people if you don't know what you are looking at.

When I went to my workshop with the mind-blowing Katy, there was one thing she talked about in particular that I am still trying to wrap this brain matter around...if I could only manage to collect all the pieces that she blew away.

First, I want you to take a moment and consider how much we believe the mind can have an impact on the body.

Then, I want you to think about it the other way around:  think about your mood, for example, when you are suffering from some sort of persistent pain.

Are you as delightful as ever when your low back hurts for the 10th day, 10th month, 10th year in a row?

And consider, too, that in that case, you are, for the most part aware of the problem.


Imagine what you would feel like emotionally, psychologically if you had NO IDEA WHATSOEVER that you were suffering from extreme chronic pain.

You might, say, end up at the doctor asking for anti-depressants or other psychiatric meds, right?

Onto the mind blowing...

Your body is out of alignment.

A body out of alignment is in constant fear of falling.

Your body out of alignment is constantly anxious that it will fall.

The body's main goal in life, pretty much, is to stay upright.

But your out of alignment body "thinks" that at any moment it will hit the ground.

Your body is in a persistent, constant state of nervous anxiety.

You are not aware of this; it is all happening on a level beyond your conscious awareness.

Anti-Woo Woo Alert: THIS IS NOT WOO WOO.  This is physiological fact.

What do you think this is doing to your mind?

In dance, I often say that the body is a gateway to the spirit (a sprinkle of woo woo), but this alignment information makes that (woo woo) metaphor into a (physiological) reality.

Your body is the vehicle through which you are experiencing life.

If that vehicle is constantly revving, the engine is going to burn out.

The thing that really blows me away with all of this...

The medical industry built up around depression, anxiety, etc. focuses on changing the chemistry of the brain, but what is really happening is a mechanical issue of the body.

And thus the low efficacy of most psychiatric meds.



You can work on your alignment.

I am not talking yoga here, people.  That is a culturally constructed set of postures that are often not aligned or taught in ways that create worse alignment issues.

I am not talking exercise, because exercising with your misaligned body is a whole lot like eating healthy but smoking and drinking like a fish.

Mechanical alignment of the body is a whole other ballgame.  I, of course, recommend the work of Katy (that is a link to her new foot book for which I get nothing!), and over the coming months, I will share more and more ways to work on it, as I dive deeper into her training.

For now, let's start with something really beginner level (and I am mean super-duper beginner level).

Watch your shoulders.  I bet as you read this, they are creeping up toward your ears, trying for a snack.

As often as possible throughout the day, drop 'em.  Relax the arms heavy at the sides and feel the shoulder blades fall down the back.

Now...if that was mind blowing for you like it was for me, go and pick up those pieces of your brain.  You don't want the cat getting to them first...