More Awareness, Better Health

Most adults experience movement through mimicking a teacher of movement. They do the movement, very often a movement with an emphasis in one plane such as running, which provides minimal enhanced awareness for sustaining cognition over the life span. There is much evidence in neuroscience now that multiplanar* movement that challenges the mind and body keeps the mind and body agile. There is less on the relationship between awareness and health; for this I draw on decades as a physical therapist and healer, and in studying the yogic and Eastern esoteric traditions.

But first a few words on developmental movement and how we got to a place of “less awareness”. Babies learn to roll, sit, stand and walk by experiencing the sensations of their bodies. The early reflexes, a precursor to how we operate and manage in the world, help us to survive: A baby wants to suckle, she turns her head in the direction of her mothers voice. The growing of mirror neurons as babies develop help them to learn to move by watching and practicing the movement repeatedly. As babies become children, outer shaping forces such as parents, caregivers, school, living environments and societal norms contribute to the mix, very often taking children from the “felt sense” of their world and into a world that I call: “inside the mind, outside the self”. The less felt sense we have of the world through the body, the less body aware we become and the more dependent we become on a medical system, a belief system and others “on the outside” to tell us how to move and feel. In a sense, we teach children to be less aware by making them sit, be still and have them focus on books and highly stimulating sources such as videos and video games before they are neurologically ready. Or if ready, the school activities are not supplemented with enough free form exploratory movement to integrate the meaning in a way that fosters embodiment and awareness. We are creating co-dependence rather than interdependence and independence.
To feel ourselves, we become dependent on outer sensation through food, people, sex…wherever your brain is drawn to experience. And then people are given anti anxiety and antidepressants for feeling too much, when in fact in some cases they are being medicated against the existence of themselves.
This dependence and subsequent lack of awareness creates a type of illness, a disembodied approach to navigating life. Would you operate a car without learning how to drive it? Most of us do. Breathing, our most fundamental and necessary movement in life, is the gasoline for our tanks, yet most of us are not aware of “how” the gas gets in the tank. We are blindly pumping lead into premium-only tanks and wonder why aches, pains and illnesses result. Aging occurs rapidly instead of gracefully. 
In my November 2016 newsletter, I will feature 2 lessons: breathing and movement awareness. They will be included on my website and you tube channel as well.
Move well, be well!
*our joints move in 3 dimensions, frontal, saggital and transverse. By multiplanar I am referring to large multi joint body movements that also challenge our Kinesthetic, proprioceptive and visual systems.