Do you control your body? Or does it control you?

Do you control your body? Or does it control you?

Something interesting happened today at one of my worksites. One of the staff, a Kenyan man, was showing a video on his phone of children dancing in a Kenyan village (much like this video I found on youtube!). The staff members watching the video were absolutely transfixed, astounded at the way these kids could MOVE! With such ease, lightness, freedom and spirit. The general chatter was something along the lines of: “I could never get my body to work like that”.

Why not? Where have we, in the western world, got it so wrong, that the notion of being able to control our bodies to move beautifully and intricately is so lost?

Our bodies are designed to move.

The human body is an absolutely amazing construction. Just think for a moment about the more than 600 muscles, 200 bones and 200 joints that work together to form the human anatomy. Not to mention the brain, spinal cord, spinal nerves, and neural pathways that work in concert to operate this brilliant structure.

A creation this beautiful, capable and complex was not created to sit behind a desk all day. Or to slouch on the sofa with an iPad in hand. It was designed to move. To run, jump, crouch, leap, tumble, stroll, dodge, amble, skip, hop, sashay, jostle, climb, crawl.

It was designed to move. To dance.

It was not so long ago that our silver screen heroes were people like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, now it’s the Kardashians. Not so long ago that young people would congregate at public halls to dance the night away, now we meet at restaurants and take pictures of our food.

With our current lifestyles being ruled by seats and screens, it’s no wonder we’ve lost touch with our ability to move. That we no longer feel confident to command and control our bodies to move at our will. We live in a time where it’s reinforced to us that we are at the mercy of our bodies – through injury, illness, sickness, weight. And that our bodies are at the mercy of society, of our environment.

Kids know how to move. When do we lose this knowledge?
Kids know how to move. When do we lose this knowledge?

From the moment we start school we’re plonked in a chair and told to sit still for several hours a day. Fast forward 12 years later and we move to an office cubicle, where we’re expected to do the exact same thing. Where we email a colleague three offices away to save ourselves from the hassle of getting up and walking.

Have we, as a society, really lost our ability to move?

Or have we lost our belief in our right to move?

Want to regain control of your body?

Get up and move.