Are you dressing your child in a way that allows them to play freely? To be their most intelligent self? Or are you limiting them for the sake of style? What about yourself? Are you free to explore within your own comfortable range? Or are your jeans inhibiting your next adventure?
Have you ever seen a cowboy walk around (if not head to the Calgary stampede), swaggering as if he is still sitting with a horse between his legs? Or an office worker walk by with his neck thrust forward as if he were still staring at a computer screen. Or a teenager permanently slouching in the direction of their phone. Occasional environmental constraints that limit movement are not going to cause a huge shift. But when it is consistent and frequent, our brains will adapt to that limitation and create alternate and often less efficient patterns.
Just this last spring my sweet little 3 year old had her femur snapped on a trampoline by the force of her big brother’s jump. Aside from all the emotional bits of guilt, sadness, anger and regret… something quite fascinating happened. Within seconds of injuring her leg her brain immediately reorganized all of her movements to continue WITHOUT involving the injured leg. It was seamless and nothing short of beautiful.
Fast forward four weeks and her full leg cast was removed and she was set free. For a few days she moved her leg as if her leg as if it was still in a cast. She would not bend her knee, she would not point her toes, she would not fall to the right if she lost her balance. Her femur injury had healed but whole system reorganization hadn’t been informed of this recovery. I did give her several ABM Neuromovement lessons and her flexible brain immediately grabbed hold of the information reminding her of the vast range of movement patterns she could explore. Within days she was walking and running without any obvious remnants of being broken. Her recovery is not my focus today, but I do want to give weight to the immediacy of change in her movement patterns in response to a physical object (in this case a break and then a cast). Even if you have not broken a limb or your child has not, what modifiable environmental factors are dictating your movement patterns?
Have you been a victim to style? I have. Yesterday I was so pumped to find a second hand pair of my favourite jeans at a consignment shop for just $20. I was so pumped that I slipped them on right away and shrugged off the slightly tight sensation. But three hours later I could feel the cinch on my belly and my response of tightening my abdominals. With my belly held in for hours straight I could feel the discomfort in my arms when I leaned over my table while working. Even walking was uncomfortable, my pelvis couldn’t rotate and I felt like I was waddling. If I dropped something to the ground, I had flashbacks of being pregnant. I rushed home and peeled the jeans off and slipped into something with a nice loose waist band, but it took hours for the aches and pains to dissipate from moving like a Barbie doll for just a few hours.
I wonder, how many people walk around in too tight jeans every single day with no clue that their aches and pains could be decreased, possibly eradicated? How many children are forced into super cool skinny jeans that barely bend at the waist? Toss those restrictive clothing, purchase not just for style but comfort too.
When I began my ABM Neuromovement® training, I wore a size 7 shoe. Now I am an 8 sometimes 8.5. I can’t even walk around the house in my old shoes without feeling like I am going to topple over. I had become accustomed to scrunching my feet up so small and narrow that they had no idea how to lie flat on the ground. It took years of lessons to connect with those itty bitty bones and muscles and remind them that they do have movement potential. Now, they are much wider and freer and my running has improved, my balance is better, and every sport I revisit feels easier.
And ladies, along with those too tight shoes how many of you can admit to squeezing into too tight bras…. I bet you can guess how well you breath when you have a restrictive band squeezing against your ribs all day. Over time your brain is going to tell your body to just stop taking big breaths. Eventually you will be sitting at your desk in your super tight bra taking itty bitty baby sips of air wondering why you are so lightheaded?
I remember when I cloth diapered my son he would not crawl in his bulky thick reusable. But if I took it off, he would be off in seconds. I have worked with children on my table who I have requested they bring a disposable because their movement is being limited by their diaper. There are lots of brands that are softer and more flexible and I would urge you to research this before buying. These are all examples of environmental constraints that are impacting movement patterns. If they go on too long they can become a habitual pattern. Take a good hard look at what may be restricting you or your child and remove any obstacles that you can. Take every opportunity to provide a rich environment which encourages freedom. Freedom of breath. Freedom of movement. Freedom of thought.
When you pause to consider the ramifications of our environment dictating movement patterns it seems obvious right? Obviously there are other areas that need to be addressed and changing into yoga pants doesn’t make you pain free instantly. There is no such thing as a quick fix. Usually if we have an issue we hope to improve, it requires lots and lots of little shifts. So if you are trying to get out of pain, or if you are trying to help your child with special needs please consider clothing as a factor worthy of consideration. Why not make life more enjoyable? The Yoga pant uprising is a positive shift in my opinion. People seeking comfort, more freedom and more play!
Some suggestions for super comfy clothing for men, women and kids:
Can you share more suggestions with our readers?