"You are how you move." - Katy Bowman
The human body is extremely adaptable which is both bad news and good news. Years spent moving in
a relatively narrow range of movement patterns such as sitting in chairs, driving cars, and
working with computers has led our bodies to accommodate these activities. These changes leave us
with tightness and limited range of motion which eventually lead to pain and decrease in function.
The good news is that when you move differently, your body responds. Restorative exercises are
extremely effective exercises to identify and treat parts of the body that aren't moving properly.
The blanket statement of "move more" is often prescribed for various ailments, but simply moving
more is not the answer. Moving more using dysfunctional patterns can often make the problem worse.
An analogy to demonstrate this concept is if the wheels of a car are out of alignment: the wear
and tear experienced from misalignment would be much more noticeable after driving it 1,000 miles
compared to 1 mile. Restorative exercises help to realign your body so that when you do move more,
you are also moving better!
As a society, we strive to make as much of our lives as convenient as possible. Unfortunately, the
more convenient things become, the less movement they require. Our bodies need continual and
varied movement to optimally function, but our environment is consistently taking away
opportunities to move. Going to the gym for an hour can not counteract the effects of being
sedentary for the rest of the day. There are simple changes that can be incorporated into your
lifestyle to get more parts of your body moving more often. An example of this is spending more
time sitting on the floor. When was the last time you got down on the floor? You will be
strengthening your muscles by lowering and lifting your body weight while getting on and off the
floor. When you sit on the floor, your hips and knees are experiencing different joint angles then
the typical 90 degrees you experience in a chair. Floor sitting will also work your core muscles
in holding you upright instead of outsourcing that work to the back of a chair. Restorative
exercises can help you regain the ability to comfortably sit on the floor. By adding more movement
into your lifestyle, you eventually eliminate the need for specific exercises to give your body
the movement it needs.