My whole thrust as a Pilates instructor is to help people learn to listen to their bodies. And hopefully to live fully and well inside of them. The idea is to start earlier in life, rather than to wait until things have progressed to pain and people feel they have to undergo drastic measures, surgeries or the like in order to function normally.
It is hard in our day and age to stay off the computer. We use it for work, school, and recreation. But all of that repetitive use can have some negative consequences. The same principles that we apply to our backs can be applied in this case and throughout the human body.
So what to do when we encounter this dilemma? There is simply no way we will cut back on use of the computer (or tablette), so what are the options? The most obvious thing is to break down the position and analyze what the various joints are doing, then simply, put them in the opposite position. (Note to over achievers: don't overdo the range of motion nor try to beef it up with resistance or what-have-you)
Here is my recipe to nip the problem in the bud...
To me, taking the time to do these stretches is akin to eating kale. I might not always like it, but it is really good for me and once I have my first bite, I realize that it is not so bad after all ;)
I have been interested in the idea of wellbeing since my university days. Various elements came together to help me see that life on Earth could be so rich -- and with reflection, a little effort and creativity, we could make the most of our time here.
For me that meant keeping healthy through:
1. Sane and vegetarian eating. Looking to nature and traditional ways to guide my eating (fortunately my second mother was from Madras, India, and since my earliest days, I watched her prepare many delicious vegetarian dishes, then she taught me when I was a young adult.) Staying away from fads and extremism...knowing that in another year there would be yet another new "super-food" to take the place of the last one! My parents also taught me the virtue of real food, the pleasures of eating foods in season and local (my mother always took us to the farmsteads to buy directly from the farmers, or we would even pick our own) and the joy of sharing a meal with family and friends...staying for hours on Sunday around the table, lunch going from around noon-4.
2. Time for my mind. For me that means time for stimulating it through good conversation, reading books or articles (I do prefer non-fiction, but occasionally get in a novel.) In addition to expanding my mind, it is equally important to center it through meditation. I do not practice formal meditation, but I take time daily to have stillness and to try to calm my thoughts and enjoy time spent in silence and contemplation.
3. Attention on my body through movement. Exercise and stretching, but also walking around, getting out and being in the garden, or in the woods or mountainside. I have danced since the age of 5, that is like breathing for me. Then as a little girl, I went through my parents' library and discovered this big, beautiful illustrated book on yoga. I would open it up on the living room carpet and choose a posture and try, try, try until I got it. In my late 30's I discovered Chinese Martial Arts. This was a whole new discipline that expanded my concept of what the human body is capable of doing. It continues in the tradition of strengthening and stretching as well as putting my mind into my body to achieve desired results.
I have my ups and downs. For over a year, I was in a very strong depressive state, having lost both my mothers and my former mother-in-law in the span of one year. I found it hard to align the three aspects, I found it hard to do much of anything except the basics. I turned in circles, but eventually found my way out. In order to give others care, one must first care for themselves. So here I am, back on track, once again feeling a great balance between the 3 aspects of health fueling my sense of wellbeing, so that I may in turn, share it with those who come to me.