The Personal Compass
for Navigating Optimal Coordination
Movement is not something human beings can take for granted. Unlike other living creatures that stand on their feet and walk shortly after birth, the human baby is obliged to learn the skill of coordinated locomotion all by himself.
He does this through an unrelenting “trial and error” experiments —seemingly aimless explorations, with accidental stumbling upon unknown options — until, after a process of repetition, he gives preference to, and settles upon, some particular solutions that sufficiently satisfy his urges.
Beyond accomplishing the growing infant’s satisfaction for his current needs aims, these autonomous quests for functional competence works to build-up his judgment mechanism, and cultivate his personal Movement Intelligence — which will become in the future his ever-faithful compass for navigating his coordination throughout a lifetime of ever-changing, unpredictable events.
Civilized man, living under the minimal physical demands of contemporary cultural life, has discontinued his early life search, and relies instead upon a limited repertoire of personally acquired routines, , which might no longer be optimally efficient, and merely serving to sustain his existence, at a compromised level. In time this less than perfect body management, can accumulate into disturbing movement limitations.
In truth, it seems that mature man is no less exempt, than the infant, from the need to continually invest in his personal ecology of physical fitness, as Nature’s inescapable law applies:
What you do today become easier to do tomorrow;
what you don’t do becomes more difficult.
In order to not deteriorate, the human body — unlike the man made machinery — can avoid warring out just with time, if he will constantly keep his mobility active, to his fullest potential. To maintain optimal function, a grown-up must continue to perfect his quality of moving, as well as kindle his passion to do so. Physical fitness is a dynamic, ongoing self-nurturing process.
Sustaining body fitness is less like keeping your money in a safe deposit box, but more like initiating new sources of affluence. In movement currency, this dynamic perception of investing sensibly and manoeuvring capital to grow, is what will renew your physical condition to its best throughout your lifetime.
In offering his solutions for the deteriorating quality of modern man’s movement, Moshe Feldenkrais, Doc. Sci. [1904–1984], modelled his strategies to improve function on the baby’s auto-didactic explorations — trying out and sensing a variety of options — as they occur naturally at the beginning of life. He deciphered the algorithm for developing functional fitness from the baby’s autonomous acquisition of his “mother tongue” of movement, and applied these same organic principles — whose efficiency had been proven over millions of years of evolution — to also update and reform mature man's lifelong accumulation of less-than-perfect habits.
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