The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!”
1 Corinthians 12:21 (NIV)
It’s time for another fitness blog. Just as the opening scripture tells us, we can’t tell one body part it’s more or less useful than the other parts. Everything must work together to make the whole body function as it’s supposed to.
In a previous blog post, https://mvarga.com/fitness-wellness/tuck-your-tail/, I spoke of our HIPS (and ankles!) being the most important element in proper balance and stability. Important…yes…but it must work together with our head and shoulders to MAINTAIN that balance.
I give my classes constant cues to keep their heads and shoulders where they should be during movements…and when standing still! I know I sound like a broken record! I do it as much for me as I do it for them!
Make a long neck… chin and nose forward… nostrils up.
Ears pulled back over the shoulders… Pull your chin into your throat…Make a double chin. (Those last two cues came straight from my physical therapist, Denny.)
When I was in grade school, my best pal and neighbor, Mary Ann, used to teasingly call me WingWong because my eyes were so small that when I smiled, I looked almost oriental. Gravity has taken its’ toll in the last 50 years. I no longer look like WingWong when I smile, but I keep her picture in my living room to remind me to keep a long neck…even when just sitting to watch TV.
I have to admit, I’m a tad neurotic about holding my body in the right posture. That includes my head. Some people have visual memories. Others are auditory. As a fitness instructor, I also know about muscle memory.
When it comes to my head, I have a ‘feeling’ memory. I try to imagine someone behind me…holding my neck in a strangle hold. They have their hands under my jaw. That will get the head up fast!
The mental image that causes me to hold my head up properly the most is imagining a book balanced on my head. I’ve tried doing that more than once. It’s harder than it looks! It’s impossible to balance the book if leaning forward, sideways or back.
Even though it’s difficult to actually do…IMAGINING a book balanced on the head will get us holding our head properly…even if it’s just a little off.
When we try to balance a book on our head, immediately our ears pull back over our shoulders and our neck naturally gets longer.
So just like the opening scripture verse alludes, our body parts were not meant to work individually but together as a whole for the benefit of the whole body…in this case, to keep our heads up taller!
Why is multi-tasking so challenging? It sure is easier to think (and do) just one thing at a time. But just like the rest of our lives, we need to learn to have all things working together for our good and the good of others.
Help us to hold our bodies in the right alignment so we can walk without tripping and hold our heads up high….SIMULTANEOUSLY!
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