I broke my foot the other day and I was pissed off. And feeling sorry for myself: I can’t do my walks, my body will fall apart, I can’t do anything…
And then I thought, what can I do? “Well smarty”, I said to myself, “you can get down on the floor and do an Awareness Through Movement® (ATM) lesson.” And so I did. The lesson had to do with bending over, softening the chest, softening the rib cage and lengthening the back of the legs. Most importantly I made sure I was comfortable. I didn’t do anything, not any movement that caused me pain anywhere.
My expectations were that I would at least get to move my body and that in a small would way make up for the fact that I couldn’t do my 3 mile walks. What I didn’t expect was how positive an impact this lesson had on my body’s ability to move despite the pain and limp.
When you have an injury you favor certain parts of your body to let the other part rest and heal. It’s a figurative royal pain in the ass, but most certainly it’s a pain in those parts of your body that have to do twice the work to compensate for the injured part.
For me the ATM lesson result was a complete surprise. Yes, even though I’ve been doing this for 27 years I was awed and surprised by how my body felt.
How did I feel? My hip joints were soft and loose. Before they were tight and stiff in compensating for the broken foot and limp. My chest was relaxed, I felt taller. My broken foot felt better and more relaxed!!! What a surprise.
I learned something.
I write this not because I want your sympathy but to give you an example of how to take care of yourself when you’re hit with something unexpected. This could be a physical injury, or a stressful situation at work that leaves your body stiff and uncomfortable, or you could just be feeling sorry for yourself for whatever reason that may be.
Getting down on the floor and doing some simple ATM movements of even just 10 minutes can help ground you in your body and make you feel more whole again.
Do you know what an Awareness Through Movement lesson is? Here’s a good description: http://www.umovebetter.com/semi-private-class/
(Oh and BTW, it turns out it’s not a break but a tendon strain. Same healing period and more ATM lessons for me…)
If you want to experience Awareness Through Movement live in-person or on-line I offer several classes each season throughout the year.