If you haven’t noticed by now, I’m a little obsessed with vintage anatomy diagrams. It was even my first tattoo inspiration. The images are so simple and delicate in their detail. These two dimensional images of the body are a beautiful work of art. Expand that observation to the working moving body and it’s a downright masterpiece. Every great artist, no matter their medium, uses their body to create their art and it got me thinking…. So many of us, myself included, don’t treat our bodies like the valuable works of art they are – despite our deep dependency that they work, and work well, in order for us to be successful and thrive. As we look toward this New Year we wanted to plant some seeds of inspiration, introspection, and opportunity for gratitude toward your body and what it allows you to do.
Inspiration: Fun Facts!
1. If you made a print of your external ear it would be completely unique to you – much like a finger print.
2. Evolutionarily speaking, our knees (with the floating knee cap) developed into a type of pulley system to allow us to stand up fully straight on two legs.
3. Your diaphragm and pelvic floor work together during proper breathing to expand and contract the space in your torso. That expansion and contraction movement creates a gentle massage for the organs that promotes blood flow, and thus proper function of the organs.
Introspection: Three Considerations for Treating Yourself More Like a Work of Art
A piece of precious artwork is taken very seriously, considered of high value, handled with extreme care is taken to preserve its best integrity, and placed in an optimal environment to be admired and cherished.
Learn and new skill with your body: A sport, Pilates (wink wink!), a Feldenkrais class, a Melt class, or a dance class. Anything that’s going to make you really think about how you are physically completing a task. This suggestion is meant to inspire an opportunity to learn something new about your body, build a deeper relationship with why you do what you do and move the way you move. Much like you would read a biography about your favorite artist to learn how they worked to create.
Consider the food you eat. Is it balanced high quality fuel eaten with enjoyment? Do you give yourself time to taste and to digest? What if a painting or a sculpture was made with inadequate materials and not given the proper time to dry/set?
What is your approach to pain, injury, or illness? Are you preventive when it comes to keeping cold and flu season at bay by getting enough sleep, taking recommended vitamins, keeping up with your exercise routine? If you do get sick or suspect an injury of some sort do you address it immediately or let it linger? If you invested in a valuable piece of art then realized the temperature or lighting environment was slowly deteriorating it, wouldn’t you immediately investigate how to improve conditions in order to prevent anymore destruction or reverse the damage?
Gratitude: 3 Simple things to show your body your appreciation.
Breathe: I know I recommend this a lot….. but it’s just so easy and accomplishes so much in such a short period of time! Taking 30 to 60 seconds to actively focus on taking large expansive breaths calms your body and mind, creates space in your torso, relieves your spine and organs of compression, allows more oxygen in the blood which means more energy. More energy means more awareness of your body and more opportunity to interrupt physical stress responses.
Move: A client once asked “Is it even worth it to start a practice if I can’t be fully consistent until a later date?” My answer will always be “YES!”. Our bodies are made to be way more active than the majority of us typically are. Any movement – five minutes of stretching, ten minutes of yoga, twenty minutes on a bike – is better than nothing. The benefits of doing something outweigh the consequences of doing nothing.
Something Fancy: Soak your feet with Epsom salt, steam your face with some essential oils, dry brush your body before a shower and take time to appreciate how far you’ve come no matter your goal. It’s hard to find a way to say that without it sounding cliché, but it’s true. The perfection monster is a fickle trickster that never really lets us feel good about what we have accomplished. Since this is a time of gratitude here’s a little permission to note and celebrate what you have achieved.
From the heart,
Brittany and The Co