I was introduced to Blue Zones almost exactly one year ago. (See HERE for more of that story.)
Populations who live longer and, more importantly, live better, move naturally.
“The world’s longest-lived people don’t pump iron, run marathons or join gyms. Instead, they live in environments that constantly nudge them into moving without thinking about it. They grow gardens and don’t have mechanical conveniences for house and yard work.” —Blue Zones Website
When reading the Blue Zones Book, I remember the interview with a centurion woman from Okinawa, Japan. (a Blue Zone). The woman sat on a mat on the floor, and was up and down at least 20 times during the course of a few hours. This struck me for a few reasons.
When I taught senior aerobics, we practiced this very skill. We also practiced walking while mindfully picking up our feet. Older populations tend to shuffle, which leads to tripping, which leads to falling, which leads to broken hips, which leads to hospitals and nursing homes, which lead to death. So, we pick up our feet.
While visiting Hank over the summer, we laid on the floor to pour over his world atlas and dream of the vacations we were going to take. Hank got stuck. And getting him back on his feet was no easy task. I wondered when exactly we lose our ability to sit and rise. I also wondered what would ever happen if Hank got stuck, and I wasn’t there to assist.
This morning, in listening to an interview with Erwan Le Corre, the founder of MovNat (a natural movement program) he asked, “can you go from sitting on the ground and back again without the assistance of arms or knees?” Of course, I was sitting and standing on the sidewalk, in the dark, at 5am. Happily, I could do it. Repeatedly!
Finally, I thought of all of the horrible, confined, smelly, dirty, (yes I was hospitalized with an antibiotic-resistant staph infection on my face. Suspected cause? A zit that was right under the mic/headset I wore while teaching aerobics) painful, boring, miserable hours I spent in a gym. I just cannot and will not do that any longer.
I like to move. My body likes it. I walk and do yoga. And NOW, I may add in some of the movements found in this move-naturally free PDF from the movnat guys.
Breathe, Sit, Stand. Repeat.
Light and Love,