It is a privilege to watch people moving in my studio every week. I notice patterns in individual bodies, and sometimes between groups of unrelated people that help me understand what each person needs on their movement menu – what nutrients are they missing? What can I add to our “laboratory” to help build an awareness and also reorganize the nervous system so that we all go out into the “real world” better equipped for everything life throws our way?
One of the things we try to do a lot of in our classes is get down on the floor and use the natural load of our body weight with gravity to strengthen the upper body. This kind of activity is sorely missing from our lives, the older we get. Although, I have to give credit to all the awesome grandparents who say they love to get down on the floor with their grandkids to play! There’s a movement meal fit for royalty!
If being on the floor supporting your own body weight is a challenge, it is probably because you have done very little of it. In the history of humans, we used to be near the ground as a necessity: it is where our carbohydrates came from. And most of those carbs were tough to dig out of the ground. In fact, it was so laborious to collect enough calories for a tribe that fossils of the upper arm bone in hunter-gatherer women shows they had arms that were stronger than those in a modern female professional athlete.
The good news is that the more you practice getting on the floor and supporting yourself with your hands and arms, the stronger you will become, and it usually happens quite quickly if you are persistent. You don’t need to pay for any special treatment, and you don’t even need any equipment. The floor is always there for you! (Bonus points if you use the bare ground with different textures and surfaces.)
Make it comfortable. Nothing deters people from moving more than pain! If you need cushioning at first, by all means, use something soft like a rolled towel or part of a mat under your hands or wrists.
Gently stretch the hands and wrists before loading your body weight and holding yourself up.
Here’s a bit of inspiration for the way your body is build to move for you. Your body is awesome and movement heals. Get all your movement nutrients!