I’m convinced- if you want a body that works, you’ve got to train intentionally towards what you want. If you have crappy hip mobility, why are you going to prioritize squatting without acquisition of proper controlled joint articulations? If your shoulder functions in a dysfunctional manner, why are you going to continue with pressing weights over your head claiming “it’s helping the range of motion”? If your low back bothers you, why are you going to continue working out repeatedly? I am talking about repetitive motions that don’t solve solutions. It happens all too often, and doesn’t get solved by physical therapy, chiropractic, or massage. But hey- I’ve got a solution for you, stop doing things that don’t improve your joint mobility and that don’t teach you to potentiate specific kinetic chains.
Repetitive use and motion is a leading cause to injury. On the opposite side of the coin, dormancy of connective tissue is a reason that we also hurt ourselves- because the tissue isn’t responding to physical movement in the first place. So what to do what to do? The common thing to do is to push through it, tell yourself “you’re not flexible”, you’re not athletic, not strong, you stop training, the list of excuses goes on and on. You leave it alone, stuff it in a cast, the amount of bullshit you tell yourself is quite high. (Remember, the threshold for us to psyche ourselves into believing something important that we’re not really doing is very high). Really, the reason that you’ve got something going on that is causing your body not to progress is you haven’t learned about your anatomy. It is my hope, that through developing movement rituals we can create the possibility to improve our joint functioning, muscular control, and kinetic chain sequencing.
THE FIRST AND GREATEST VICTORY IS TO CONQUER YOURSELF. -PLATO
A ritual is described as a series of actions or type of behavior regularly and invariably followed by someone. I’m not talking rituals in a religious sense, I’m talking rituals in a personable behavior sense. To me rituals are social (either internally with yourself or externally with others), represent a change of some sort, and signify a moment of time that was dedicated towards improving one’s being (this is open for interpretation). I think we sometimes confuse tendencies with rituals. Somebody may say, “a ritual is to have a beer after work, or to watch the game Sunday night, or to eat a certain meal every Friday night.” I consider these tendencies, or habits. Now there are good habits, like brushing your teeth, and there are bad habits, like not brushing your teeth or constantly lying. They represent tendencies we have, ways of ‘being’ that we hold on to, mental habits that have not been figured out. They do not involve constant remapping of mental cognition and they also disassociate you from your body. Habits are usually tendencies we embrace that exist within our realm of comfort. Therefor, change of ‘being’ in a new way typically does not occur. Human potential and achievement are typically not a focus during a tendency or habit. **Please note, I am not saying that all tendencies do not serve us or have a purpose. I am strictly discussing the lack thereof conscious awareness when performing non-ritualistic habits like these**
A ritual on the other hand, can be a good habit. I think of them as synonyms of each other. They both can represent an act of observance, ceremony, recognition of cognitive processing and mental planning. I think that as humans it is imperative that we begin to set aside time for movement rituals. To spend time with ourselves learning about neural drive and proprioception, to further explore and understand our state of being and where we are in life. Now some people might say, “my ritual is I workout everyday at 6am, it makes me feel great. Why do I need a movement ritual?” I assure you, if you fall into the category of addicted-to exercise person, and think your rituals are already figured out, but I am here to tell you that you need to adopt a restorative plan to relax your body. Anybody is free to dismiss what I’m saying, but when you come to me and don’t have a hip that works, or a shoulder that moves, or cannot hold a simple loaded isometric without compensating I am going to say to you, “do you have a movement plan at home?” i.e.; what is your intentional movement ritual?
Physical movement has ways of laying down new fabrics for connective tissue and helps make the musculoskeletal system much smarter. Having a plan to improve your mental and physical capacities will give you the strength, flexibility, and resilience in the world that you want. However- you’ve got to start simple and start dedicating time to your body on your own. It’s not about overdoing it, its about finding that middle ground where you’re doing things that are unique to your body and your inhibitions. The easy part is working with a coach and developing a map of your body, the hard part is disciplining yourself to have an at-home ritual. A time where mental and physical shifts happen, and you’re not only in control of it, but you get to experience it. Changing your behavior and letting go of things that are either time-sucks or contributors to your lack of capabilities is the only real step to take when seeking change.
Want to reach new ground of consciousness? Attention and intention are the only ways there- wake up!
Want to learn more? Drop me a line, firstname.lastname@example.org