What is it that makes us feel most alive...the rush that comes with a streamlined focus, moving through space, taking risk, learning a completely new activity? Just as a child smiles and laughs with joy as they stumble across the floor, learning to walk, our systems are wired to thrive on learning. Movement facilitates learning, which is why children are in constant motion absorbing information from their surroundings, organizing the info, and trying out new patterns.
By focusing intently on our quality of movement, opening our minds to learning (it takes time and courage to deny habits) we open the path for new neuromuscular pathways to form, stimulate neuronal growth, and feel the exhilaration of learning; vitality! Pilates is a highly effective tool to practice this as movements are learned with keen attention and full body awareness, or integration.
Learning involves opening an array of neurochemical pathways, as the organism strives to find the most efficient path to achieve a task; this firing of electrochemical activity creates feelings of excitement, alertness, and single pointed focus. It feels great! As the activity is practiced, the most efficient pathway becomes more defined, and alternate routes are closed, leading to programmed responses (learned skills and habits). Yet our bodies are constantly changing, and what we practice one day is not necessarily the best for us the next day. Dare to break out of daily habits (highly efficient but not necessarily the most effective ) and notice how feelings of vitality are restored as you stimulate your brain and body to learn again! And to find the optimal path for the present.
Attending the INNER IDEA CONFERENCE in Palm Springs last month inspired me with advanced learning skills; Tom McCook's focus on imagery for optimizing performance, and Erika Quest's Bosu pilates classes were top notch!
Special thanks to LORNA JANE, MALIBU, for sponsoring a wonderful eve of celebration for Empower clients, rewarding them for their commitment to strengthening their bodies and minds through pilates and personal training.
TOP READS this month are Anat Baniel's, "Move Into Life" and R. Schleip's "Fascia" (particularly the Pilates Applications chapter by master teacher MJ Blom), and Mary Bond’s “Heal Your Posture” (DVD workshop highly recommended).
Our bodies and minds are always ready to learn and change. They want us to thrive. You have the power to change your body, your mind, your life; Believe you can do it. And you will.
The power is within you.