Updated: Mar 24
This article is reprinted from a newsletter I receive, After reading the piece, look carefully at the image so that you can recall that image when working through Learning HOW to Age exercises or any others. Enjoy!
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https://futurelifenow.com If you live in the United States, you’ve just enjoyed one of our most hallowed summer holidays, July 4th, our Independence Day. It is a day to celebrate and take collective pride in the grit, vision, and backbone of our founders. Each of us has had times when we needed to “show some backbone.” We have certainly had times where our metaphorical backbone failed, where we failed to find the strength or stamina to do what we felt was right. The backbone is not only intrinsic to who we are, and who we can become, but a healthy backbone is what allows us to stand tall, supporting all we do physically with our bodies. Possessing “spine” in some ways starts with your backbone. The way we carry our head on our spine while walking is a major contributor to bone health. When the head sits properly on the spine, the weight of it is carried more along the middle and front of the spine than the back of it. Wherever there is clear, dynamic stacking, the vertebral column is called on to be strong and supportive. Whenever the head does not transfer efficiently in space over one leg and then another it signals body imbalance and disease. From osteoporosis to osteoarthritis to bulging discs and even spinal stenosis, these are problems mostly created over years by inefficient movement. (emphasis mine)
In recent years, researchers have begun to look more closely at the impact bone has on our emotional wellbeing and are proposing the reclassification of bone as part of the endocrine system.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3571654/ “Show some backbone” is a verbal challenge for us to rise to an occasion, to demonstrate conviction and make a stand. Like courage, growing your backbone is a process of learning about oneself. (emphasis mine) We need to map out parts of our bodies. We need to learn how some movement habits serve us well and others don’t. We need to be present in our environment and aware of our bodies within any space we inhabit. This will help us better understand how to best carry our head upon our spine, moment to moment, and movement by movement with balance and clarity. (emphasis mine. Learning HOW to Age Session I lessons 1-3 are primarily focused on introducing this kind of practice for physical perception, development of kinesthetic awareness and mental flexibility. See video lessions at learntoage.org) That is a tall order in a constantly changing environment but one we are fully capable of taking on. And when we do take it on, we may find that having the backbone to make courageous stands and walking in a way that grows our backbone, that serves to best develop and support our spine, are intimately related.