Graceful Movement

This blog provides encouragement to people who are beginning training, returning to training, going through physical therapy, or recovering from injury.

October 23, 2011

Beginning gymnastics - getting close to the ground

If you are an adult who is beginning gymnastics, or yoga, you may have forgotten how to get close to the ground. And by that I don't mean just lying down, like on a bed or on the couch, I mean getting close to the ground. Please let me explain.

If you are typical of most adults, you are either standing up, or sitting down, or lying down. And with very little in between. When you were a kid, there was a lot of in between. You squatted down to look at bugs on the sidewalk, you tipped your head down to squeeze into a small space. You didn't need a chair to sit down, you always had the ground.

And then at some point, maybe when we were told not to get our clothes dirty, or to act more grown-up, we lost all of that. If you are wondering that's you, try this - turn your head sideways. Did you look around to see if someone thought you were acting silly? You should, because it is kind of silly. Silly and childish. And wonderful, graceful, and athletic.

This is how you start -

• Get a yoga mat. You can buy one at K-Mart or use one that a friend bought years ago and never uses.

• Take your shoes off. Yoga mats are especially nice on bare feet. Wiggle your toes.

• Bend your body. Don't worry about *yoga poses* or *gymnastics moves* at this point. Get close to the ground, reach for it, get on it, get up from it. Find a three-dimensional space that is as tall as you can stretch and as wide as you can reach.

People looking at you won't be impressed, but forget about them. You will have begun the most important step, getting close to the ground.
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