TOUCH vol. 2 - Page 11

Recently I’ve found myself standing for an extended period of time in lines waiting for one thing or another. In doing so I’ve had a lot of time to contemplate and witness how many of us hold ourselves in long lines (myself included). One of the most common things to see (and that I am also working on) is the ‘Hip-Hang”, where you end up resting all the weight in one hip, and the spine rests in lateral flexion. If this was a once-off occurrence that would be fine, but the problem comes when we habitually rest in one hip (without balancing out our sides, or resting in neutral). This kind of resting habit can actually lead to long term changes in posture and spinal alignment when done for years waiting in line for that daily Starbucks coffee…. Postural changes can lead to a build up of tension that often we seek massage to help release! So in order to reduce the build up of tensions we need to change our habits. A few things that I’ve found to help me reduce the “Hang time” when waiting in line: 1. First and foremost, use it as an opportunity to take your mindfulness practice off your mat/ out of the gym etc. Once you see it as an opportunity to build strength, you’re more likely to challenge yourself to stay standing in a neutral/healthy position. 2. Movement – you might look funny for doing it, but we can look funny together! MOVE! No body said you have to stand still in lines. Some really simple things we can all do in line: 3. Squats – just small ones (or not?) 4. Calf Raises – great for balance as well as strength! 5. Forward bend – change the flow of blood and get a refreshing boost of energy to your brain – perfect for the midday line. 6. Stand on one foot and balance. 7. Rock from side to side – switching weight between feet, and at the same time you can rock your neck from side to side to get a nice added stretch! These are really simple movements. Yet it will build less overall tension, and significantly influence our general levels of comfort. Over time it will also lead to improved posture and better self-care practices. Essentially, everyone wins. Well, everyone except your massage therapist, who has much less to do now. ;) Be well, Drew.