“I am free to move freely”
‘People do not decide their futures, they decide their habits and their habits decide their futures’, said FM Alexander.
Information and knowledge are useful. Putting these into action is even more useful. Committing to doing this thinking-in-activity one, three, or ten times a day – then you’ll really start to notice the benefits.
As many of you know, one of Alexander’s major discoveries about us mammals is that the relationship between the head and spine govern the coordination of the rest of us. Yes – all of us! Physical, mental, emotional, spiritual – we don’t separate – its all one thing – our Self.
Coordination and integration
– how do your clothes help or hinder this inquiry?
“I am free to move freely”
We are talking about clothes this week. So to keep to the subject – I will name socks, hats and hairdo’s (punctuation?)
Firstly socks – after a few washes, some socks have a tendency to stiffen up and shrink, or is that just mine?
I will occasionally treat them to some fabric conditioner and hang them on the line wherever possible, however, after a long time or a short time, they shrink.
At this point – I say Goodbye. A shrunken sock will enclose your toes, foot and all those 33 joints into a small cast. This will reduce the amount of movement available in these precious joints and send the effects up to your ankles, knees and beyond. Stiff toes can lead indirectly to stiffening in other joints. Free your feet by saying goodbye to stiff socks.
Hats. Are you a hat wearer?
In the wintertime, I am often in a woolly hat to keep my head warm, but I’m not keen on a brim. A beanie or beret can keep my hair out of my eyes, and help me conserve my heat and give me a certain je ne sais pas. Some hats have the wrong amount of elastic in them, and they can either grip my scalp or have an annoying tendency to slip down, which encourages much phaffing to try and keep it out of my eyes.
A brim on a summer hat is essential in my humble opinion, to shade my eyes and keep the glare out. If the brim is too big, it makes you move your head to see around it. Our eyes and head should lead and our body – and clothing should follow.
Now, perhaps this last one could have been a whole essay – hair do’s.
Some hair do’s are based on fashion and not function. For me this is back-to-front. I want my hair to allow me to live the way I want to live, rather than having to adjust myself, accommodate myself to adapt to the available eye-line.
People who have a side-parting and a fringe which goes over one eye can soon become lop-sided and tilt their head to see around their hair. Long after the hair has been cut, the habit of head-on-side continues for a lifetime unless you deliberately unlearn this.
A friend’s daughter has long hair and I can see the child, aged about 6, developing a head-tilt to see up and under her hairline. This is a real concern for me to see, as the freedom of our head-neck joint governs our coordination. If we can’t freely coordinate our movement it making EVERYTHING else we do more lumpish.
So if we focus on ‘looking good’ when we are six and 26 and 56 we may not realise the long-term shadow this can cast on our skeleton and muscle and movement patterns. It is not too late to change and make improvements.
We are either pointing towards the deterioration of our use and functioning OR towards improvements, choice and freedom. If you’d like a guide on how we can undo these patterns, let’s start with a chat.