Thursday, 20 November 2014

Start Rocking!

I can't believe what I've started doing every day. I'm rocking- I might start rolling soon too!

Let me explain further. As you know if you've read more of my blog, I have had a difficult year as far as my core and abdominal muscles are concerned. Having started to really recover from the injuries sustained in the seizure last November I had another seizure at the end of August and then another in September. Worse still I had a sickness bug a few weeks ago and was retching for about 7 hours on a Sunday evening (I actually missed Downton Abbey because of it!). I remember finally trying to get to sleep and feeling my stomach pulsating. So to say the least I've been coping with pain and flexibility and mobility restrictions.

Now to the rocking. Thanks to a friend on a yoga forum I found The Liberated Body Podcast. The presenter, Brooke Thomas, talks to "game changers" every week about holistic ways to own your body and help your journey through the modern world, whether or not you have chronic illness.
The first episode talked about crawling. The change in position, from standing and walking, to being on all fours and crawling, counteracts modern life which does very little walking upright and very little sitting upright. By using screens, even reading a book, knitting or falling asleep in front of the television, our neck is compromised and  bent forward, putting pressure on the nervous and immune systems. So crawling, with the head held high is an opposite pose. Not only does it improve neck strength is helps create a stronger core and better balance. 

By listening to the whole podcast I discovered that babies quite obviously don't go simply from lying on their fronts or backs to crawling; a lot of preparation goes into movement. Crawling needs balance and strength. I found this fascinating as I feel the need to start from scratch myself. Having not walked very much for the last five years without finding pain or set-backs, I want to know the real basics of movement. From practising yoga for almost three years I understand the principles of breath and movement so the term "Rocking" was what appealed to me. Very simply it is being on all fours, like a baby preparing to crawl, then sitting back into child's pose with the arms stretched out in front. The movement rocks backwards and forwards, from table pose, into child's, all the time with the head upright, creating a comfortable curve in the upper part of the spine, and the eyes focused on a point in the foreground. This rocking motion provides the body with a strong and balanced core over time. A baby will be observed doing this for about a month before tentatively moving an arm and leg forwards to crawl into another position on the floor. Follow this link for a great example of the movement

So I'm rocking. Rolling on the floor like a baby will come in time. Rolling side to side and from the front of the body to the back is suggested to give a flexible spine with strong supporting muscles. As my core is still recovering and restricting my movement I will not expect myself to crawl around the house or roll every day. The two men who founded this concept were personal trainers when they came up with this idea. I am not in that league! As time goes by and I notice my body changing I will do more, less or find yoga poses to complement this idea.

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