I have recently been introduced to the work of Ido Portal , inventor of The Movement Culture. His basic idea is that we don’t move enough. And when we do move we ‘exercise’ within a fairly narrow range of movements and then, because we only do one sport, we injure ourselves by overspecializing.
As an Alexander Technique teacher I love watching his videos – his movement is beautifully. But I also love that he has developed a philosophy of movement which I find very compelling. Basically he says move more, in more ways. Be less of a specialists, more of a generalist. Humans are designed to move in many, many ways.
And I could not agree more. Children naturally move through a wide range. When out walking they also skip, jump, run, climb, swing, lean down, reach up, clamber, slide. As we age we narrow this range of movement – we just walk, on one level, at one speed.
And the modern world, with it’s ‘labour saving devices’ contrives to save us from moving even more. Cars mean we don’t walk, lifts mean we don’t climb stairs, remote controls mean we don’t even get up to change television channel. We hire a cleaner to clean our windows and our house, we get a dog walker to walk the dog. And then we go to the gym, or yoga class to ‘exercise’ the body we have stopped moving.
Perhaps the problem is the word ‘exercise’. Exercise seems to be a chore, a duty, more about health than about pleasure. If we stopped thinking of ‘exercise’ and instead thought of ‘how can I move more today?’ How can I enjoy movement more? Not, how can I reduce my movement, ‘save’ time and energy, but how can I treasure every opportunity to move my incredible body?
So, a New Year’s Resolution – exercise less and move more. Find movement classes, enjoy moving. Oh and consider learning the Alexander Technique to refine your movement and make it even more enjoyable, easy, free – beautiful, even. Happy New Year everyone.