“Who is choosing this movement?”
‘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 action 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.
Can you see where the top of your legs fit in?
To either side of the Symphysis public joint in the shallow dishes?
“Who is choosing this movement?”
I’m curious about the habit of ‘leg-crossing’.
I find myself from time to time with my legs crossed, I notice a lot of other people do this too. Is this something you do?
Which way are your legs more comfortable? Left over right, or right over left?
Who decides to cross them? I’m curious who is in charge of our movements?
I hear people say “My legs are crossed”. I’ve been sitting at the computer a while with ‘the’ legs crossed. Who do the legs belong to? Who is in charge of them?
Perhaps you thing someone else is in charge? Are you unclear about which part of you decides, and talk about them in the third-person?
I find this really interesting. Our brain is able to automate a lot of our daily movements. Some of them are very useful to have automated, and others, like this leg-crossing habit, may be somewhat out of date and unhelpful.
Just because a human mammal can do somthing with their body, doesn’t mean we should. And if we do it, it isn’t helpful to do it for too long (defined by when it starts to damage us) and preferably without tension to glue us into place.
When we shine the kind light of our attention onto a habit such as this, we can start to feel self-conscious. That in itself is useful. I want you and me and us to be conscious of our selves.
What often happens is we get a free dose of self criticism and self judgement thrown in. Now if we stay here, and don’t realise that our brain has been hijacked by an implanted voice (probably some significant and well-intentioned adult from our childhood) we can end up feeling a bit glum.
If you can stay with the physical sensations aroused by these judgements, and not believe the words in your head, you will be a lot happier.
Staying with the physical sensations – we can choose to release the tension glued into this movement. Yes, we can just choose. ” I am free to notice ease in my hip joints, and allow my legs to release back into their full length and girth.”
We don’t need to move out of this pattern as a reflex. Often we notice one habit, judge that it is bad or wrong, and impose our idea of what is right onto it immediately. Do you know what I mean?
It could be we notice our legs are crossed, think it is wrong, and immediately uncross our legs. This is normal.
However, if we want to address the unconscious pattern of just finding out legs crossed, without having deliberately chosen to do this, and attend to our coordination whilst we move – we are not fundamentally changing anything.
We cannot change our habits without changing the way we think. I won’t pretend. It is not easy! Yet it is possible, and it is a worthy thing to practice so that we can master our own minds, bodies and live more choice fully.
Is this something you would like to do?
Referring to the picture at the top of this email, it is a drawing showing the pelvis and the lowest part of the spine – the sacrum. The sacrum is the middle part at the back of the pelvis and is both spine and pelvis. It joins onto the illium / pelvis at the scare-illiac joints. If we cross our legs often, for long periods and with tension – this slowly but surely starts to pull on these SI joints and twist our back and build up a slow but sure damage to the spine in the lower back and beyond. It can also start to skew our pubic symphysis joint! From experience when I was heavily pregnant – it is extremely painful when this one goes out!
Whilst uncrossing your legs might be useful, if it is just undone out of a sense of what we were doing as ‘wrong’ we might move quickly, with tension and again not knowing ‘how’ we get from crossed to uncrossed.
We aren’t really choosing, we are reacting to our idea of ‘wrongness’.
I have not said that crossing your legs is wrong. It depends how you think and do it. It may be unhelpful, it may cause damage, but it can also be done lightly, in a balanced way and with poise.
My work is about helping people discover their habits, which are associated to the pain or problem they present with, and help them understand how their body is designed to work and think and move. By restoring conscious choice to our whole system, we can start to let our body’s natural wisdom get back in charge, and by extension iron our the wrinkles, aches and pains. As we begin to move in the right order and the right relationship and with the right part of us in charge – we become healthier and happier.
Am I making sense?
Habits can be changed, and first we start with changing our thinking. First through education and understanding, then through a guided practice to a better overall systemic thinking, then practising the principles, not the movements.
If you are curious to know any more about how this way of thinking and moving could help you, please call me for a chat.