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Movement Ecology, Part III

Movement Ecology (from Dave): The A to Z study of human locomotion.

Today, I want to ask (and, hopefully, begin to answer) the following questions:

  • What are healthy (and unhealthy) forms of movement?

  • How can one move more healthily (or less unhealthily)?

  • How can one do so more often?

Healthy Forms of Movement

Healthy forms (or systems) of movement are those which honor the design of one's body. Everything begins there. Anything which does not honor the body is unhealthy.

Most "movement systems," be they Tai Chi, yoga, pilates, ballet, running, walking, hiking, climbing, swimming, weight lifting, calisthenics, cross training, stretching, postural exercises (The Egoscue Method, Feldenkrais, The Alexander Technique), body manipulation (chiropractic adjustment, massage, Rolfing), etc., contain some healthy movements (or approaches to movement), some not so healthy, and some that fall somewhere in between. Of course the defining characteristic of any movement (movement you're doing [or subjecting yourself to]), "Does it honor the body?" For example, long-distance running (marathons, etc.) is hazardous to your health, but short-distance sprinting is outstanding for it (provided you warm-up and stretch beforehand). Many ballet moves are quite healthy, invigorating, and grace-imbuing; doing things on point, though, is not. A while back, I was surprised to learn how many ballet dancers have significant, even crippling, foot problems. In weightlifting, doing tricep presses are horrible for you (especially your elbows); performing the dead lift, though, when done with proper form, can be one of the best exercises you can do for yourself.

Again, the questions is: "Am I honoring my body with this particular movement?" If your answer is "Yes," then, chances are, you're moving healthily. If your answer is "no," or "I'm not sure," chances are, you're injuring yourself, perhaps irreparably.

Moving More Healthily More Often

There's an old slogan I love, and it reads as follows: First, learn to move well (healthily) and in many different ways. After that, seek to move as often as possible.

By paying attention (mindfully) to your body and the very natural ways it "likes" or "hungers" to move and then moving only in accordance with that principal, you'll naturally honor the first part of the above slogan. Once you begin to master healthy movement (how you walk; how you twist; how you bend down; how you pick things up, move them, and set them back down; how you ascend/descend steps; how you move explosively; etc.), you'll naturally want to move more because you love doing it. Tapping into your body's desires to move can be a really wonderful thing. My body is HUNGRY to move. Accordingly, I feed it with healthy movement, and I do so all day, every day. Sometimes, the movements I feed it are quite vigorous; most of the time, their slow and very gentle, almost wispy.

Begin to do theses things, my friends, and you'll discover your own hungers to move as well as the best ways to satisfy those hungers. Using food as analogy , if you're hungry, sure, you can eat candy; but sooner or later, you're going to begin to feel poorly. It might not happen right away, but, trust me, it will eventually. However, if you feed your body nourishing food (real food, clean food, natural food, food people 200 years ago would recognize as food), you'll naturally begin to feel better and begin to eat better. And, as you eat better, you'll feel better; and, quite organically, the better you feel, the more motivated you'll be to eat better. This kind of approach to eating and moving (and probably just about anything else) has a snowballing effect. Give these things a whirl, my friends.

Peace and strength to you...


My new book, Experiments in Prayer: Monastic Practice in Ordinary Life, is now available in paperback and Kindle/Ebook formats from Amazon.

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100% of all author royalties are, most gratefully, donated in equal parts to Christ the King Church and Zoweh Ministries.


A Note to All My Blog and Social Media Friends and Followers:

I've made it a point, over the last decade, to accept friend and follower requests from any who ask. I think I've "defriended" only three or four people in the last ten years and did so only because they posted inappropriate material to one of my walls or timelines. Thankfully, it's been several years since anyone committed such a breech of etiquette.

I write all this to indicate I have many "friends" and "followers," whom I do not know personally (yet!). Lately, I've been getting countless (sometimes more than 200 a day) messages from people I don't know. Please know this: I speak a brief word of blessing over each person who sends me a message, but I can respond directly to only a few each day. If I did not discipline my activities in this way, I could, conceivably, spend my entire day every day responding to such messages.

By disciplining myself to the above social media activity-limitation plan, I in no way want to belittle or disrespect anyone or hurt anyone's feelings. My hope and prayer is that, even if I don’t respond to your message directly, you will know I cherish you and pray you'll experience God's love and grace personally and deeply. Experiencing God is the highest Good anyone could ever experience. May each of you experience such Good through your pursuits of Divine Union with Jesus Christ, the Eternal Living God.

As always, may the Lord bless you and keep you…


IKIGAI Weekly Blog Schedule (per The Training Trinity):

Mondays: Meditative Prayer

Wednesdays: Holistic Discipline

Fridays: Martial Arts Practice


The Life You Were Born to Live

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