Today I participated in a Self Defense class at Fit Chick Express. The experience was very valuable and inspired further thought as to how Rolfing® Structural Integration principles and body awareness can keep you safer. Throughout class concepts that Rolfers are working to help their clients embody showed up in every movement we learned.
For starters how we carry ourselves through life depicts a message to the rest of the world. Do you walk through the world with your head high and with a sense of strength and purpose? Our sense of self carriage can depicts us as a easy target and make us vulnerable. I do not say this to scare you but as food for thought. As you walk through the world bring an awareness of how you want to be perceived.
Standing up with purpose can be harder to do than one might think, so here are some tips to accomplish this. It is important to find this sense of lift and strength without creating more tension in the body.
- 1. Think of your favorite smell if you feel yourself looking down and feeling stuck in the ground- it helps keep your eyes on the horizon as you seek that smell
- 2. Keep yourself aware of your peripheral vision– what this means is not just being aware of the vision directly in front of you but also to each side of you. This gives you a better awareness of the space around you
- 3. Remember that you have a back– This may sound strange but we are beings that are very focused on whats in front of us. This leaves us less aware of what is behind as well as the back half of our bodies. To create awareness of this space take some time to focus on breathing into your back. This may not be easy at first but with practice it will become a natural phenomenon. Another way to become more aware of your back is to focus on listening behind you.
How you move in addition to your posture can make a huge difference. Here are some ways to find strength and smoothness in your walk.
- 1. As you walk, start to pay attention to how your feet connect with the ground. Allow your heel to lightly strike, then the weight will shift to the outside edge of the foot cross to the inside of the foot and then reach the toes. Your big toe should be the last part of the foot to the leave the ground and propel you forward. It is important to find your feet in order to have more stability in your body. Play with bracing parts of your feet and then walking to see how it changes your walk and make it less stable. Then go back to feeling your whole foot. Notice how much stronger your connection to the ground is.
- 2. Remember to breath– I know this sounds simple but many of us hold our breath or forget to inhale. When you are aware of your breath it allows for more movement in the body and thus more movement in your spine allowing you to move more freely through your whole body.
These are just a few ways that being more aware in your body may help keep you safer and conscious of your environment. I am not an expert in self defense but these tips are meant to help you enhance your sense of your environment!
Lauren Harmon Certified Rolfer™
Certified Equine Structural Integration Practitioner
Rolfing ® Structural Integration Longmont and Fort Collins Colorado