Yoga. Gymnastics. Dance. Martial Arts. Running. Sex. All the good things boil down to movement.
Moving your body is the most natural thing you can do. Embrace it. Movement fuels our life and is one of the most important things you can do every day.
Consider the idea that physical movement has kept our species alive since the early Hominins 2.5 million years ago. When our ancestors woke up in the cave, they didn’t have the luxury of walking over to their kitchen, firing up the stove, and whipping up a beautifully paleo cave omelette.
Rather, they had to set out on foot to find food to provide for the tribe. No cars. No drive-thru’s. No UberEats. Just feet. It was a matter of walking, running, squatting, and crawling that ensured survival of the herd. It was a matter of movement.
On the other side of the coin, there were times when we were required to move in order to not become food for some other bigger, stronger, scarier animal. If a predator was tracking us, stagnation equaled death. So sit still and be eaten? Or move those happy little legs and survive? I’m very glad we chose the latter.
Now, if you look at the human musculoskeletal system, one might infer that the most absolute naturally significant physical act we can perform is walking.
Our knees bend forward and hip flexion is far easier than hip extension. The bones in our legs are longer and stronger than the bones in our arms. Our eyes sit in our head to face directly forward. Our ears sit on the side of our heads to give us auditory information on things we cannot immediately see. What does this all add up to? Walking, of course. (Thank you Eric Bell….quite possibly the smartest anatomical mind I’ve come across in my short time on this earth)
Granted, we no longer live in the time where fear of being eaten is realistic (unless you live in Arkansas. BigFoot lives there.) Yet we still carry that same instinctive DNA with us from millions of years ago. Thus, something about movement inherently connects our brains to feelings of not just mere survival, but thriving as a species.
Ever tried having sex without moving? Just picture that for a second….really takes all the fun out of it, you know?
Ever sat through a painfully long work meeting? Notice how you begin to crave movement? (Fun fact about Kyle: I fucking hate corporate work meetings.) It starts with the subtle fidgeting of the digits, shuffling your papers, twirling your pen, then crossing and uncrossing your legs. Before you know it, you’re essentially doing full-on gymnastics in your chair. Don’t worry. It’s not your fault. That’s simply your DNA expressing itself in the most natural manner that it knows how.
Finally, movement is so innate to our species that it even naturally expresses itself in our language. Look at the following phrases and discern the difference.
“I just really feel trapped in my job.”
“We’ve hit a major road block with the project.”
“I feel like I’ve plateaued in my workouts.”
Trapped. Blocked. Plateaued. All of these things are usually spoken with a negative or less-than-ideal tonality, and all are synonymous with not moving.
“My business is really accelerating.”
“The project moving forward.”
“My fitness regimen is really progressing.”
Moving forward. Accelerating. Progress. All usually spoken in a bit more of a positive connotation, and all synonymous with moving.
It’s no mystery why we crave movement in all facets of life. It’s normal. It’s natural. It’s important.
Now, as a yoga teacher, I do enjoy very long periods of rest and the total submission to gravity. And at the same time, I know the only thing that gets me most prepared for that sublime moment are periods of moving my body in every way possible. Well, that, or two glasses of pinot noir.
You have one psychosomatic meatsuit to play with in this life my friends. Put it to the test and see how many ways you can move it.