Guest blogger and yogini Ali Watts joins us today to share some wisdom gleaned from her toddler. Visit Ali at her beautiuful global wellness site letsglo.com.
And rightly so.
Why would she want to spend time looking at the carpet when there is a whole wide world full of interesting stuff, like biscuits, out there to explore?
It is a common belief that one must learn to crawl before learning to walk. It is said to be an important part of one’s neurological development, that taking movement one step, roll, crawl at a time provides the foundations to master more complex movements later on in life.
The same goes for adults. It can do more harm than good to swing a kettle bell or run a marathon before learning to engage the correct muscles for that particular movement, especially if you keep on blindly repeating the same exercise over a prolonged period of time.
The problem? Ego. When triathlon or marathon glory is within sight for instance, being advised to go back to basics and learn how to run again, is going to be, well…like telling a baby to go back to crawling. Isn’t it a step backwards?
Not according to Gary Cook, a fierce advocate of Functional Movement Systems (FMS) and author of the book Movement: Functional Movement Systems: Screening, Assessment, Corrective Strategies (FMS) by Cook, Gray (9/1/2011). Cook recommends FMS as a way to “pinpoint areas of movement, pattern limitation and asymmetry,” assessing seven basic movement patterns, and identifying tightness and weakness in the body.
Letting go of the exercise ego and “crawling” for a while means that you will not only improve your technique and performance, but you could also avoid surgery later in life.
Perhaps if I had been introduced to FMS techniques earlier I might have avoided having double hip surgery. In my case though, I realized that the surgery was a blessing in disguise. It forced me to reassess how I move and introduced me to FMS, something I hadn’t been aware of up until that point.
This fitness reassessment had the knock-upside-the-head effect of allowing me to look at other fundamentals of my life and highlighting to me where else I should learn to “crawl.” It has also motivated me to embrace new experiences, such as booking myself into courses to learn new skills.
So I encourage you to start crawling again, rather than stumbling towards that biscuit. Believe me, you’ll end up with the whole packet.
Ali Watts is a founder of global wellness site letsglo.com, a search and share website that lists classes, courses, retreats and workshops.
A version of this article appeared in the summer edition of Ecozine.