Stop Looking And Start Feeling
We are so dependent on our eyes nowadays. We receive most of our information through the sense of sight. Not saying that’s a bad thing.
But it seems to me we are slowly losing the ability to feel. Particularly feeling our bodies, the position, the movement, how it feels, what it needs.
I will not claim I have absolutely mastered the art of listening and understanding my body and its needs. But I strive to get better and better every day at it. And pass on to my students everything I know.
This is what I actually want to write about today: mirrors. Particularly mirrors when we train. In the gym, in the house, in the Dojo, everywhere.
Mirrors are really good from one point of view. To see how you move and correct technique. Not talking about looking at how your biceps pump up. That’s another story.
I use the mirrors in the Dojo to look at my technique. And I use them a lot, I find them very useful.
However there is also the downside. The more we use them to watch ourselves the less we are aware of our bodies, how they move and feel.
Again back to the Dojo. The best thing is that what I do requires me to move away from mirrors so unlike the gym where you are static, in front of the mirrors while you do everything, here you move around a lot.
In the outdoors…..no mirrors at all of course. You are left with just feeling your body, becoming mindful of it. For many this is a challenge itself.
What I do with my clients
First of all we have no mirrors. We only see each other and we feel our own bodies. This enhances our kinaesthetic sense.
Kinaesthesia is knowledge of the position and movement of parts of your body, which comes from sense organs in the muscles and joints (Oxford Dictionary)
Sometimes, very seldom and only when really needed for advanced techniques, we take pictures and/or film the exercise to have a better picture of how the movement is and how it should be.
Another thing we do is walk with our eyes closed. Beware there is a high danger of injury so if you do this make sure you either walk very, very slow and/or there is nothing around you to make you trip, fall and injure yourself.
We do this barefoot as it enhances the sense of touch and orientation. We feel the ground beneath our feet from the moment they touch the earth to the moment they leave the surface and the journey they make above the ground.
It’s a wonderful and relaxing feeling. Also called walking meditation.
STOP Watching Yourself & START Feeling Yourself
Other ideas to try:
- lying on your bed at night, before you fall asleep, become aware of your toes
- imagine your breathe going in through your nose and all the way down to your toes
- become aware of the position of your body as you sit, stand and walk
- pay attention at how you use your body when you eat and drink