This week I invite you to bring your attention to the intensity of your grip on the steering wheel. Every once in a while, when you stop at a traffic light, bring your attention to your grip. Notice the amount of force you are using to hold the steering wheel. Are you using more effort than necessary for a secure grip? Or not? How much effort is there in your hands, forearms, shoulders?
Play with it. Grip tighter. Grip less. What is the “Goldilocks” grip that is firm and secure, but doesn’t carry unnecessary strain? (To avoid distraction, please, don’t do this while the car is moving, just when you stop at a red light, Awareness is great, but safety first!)
When you chew your food, which side of the mouth do you use the most? Do you have a preference? Do you switch from side to side? Do you tend to start always on the same side or does it vary?
With Thanksgiving approaching, it’s a great opportunity to tune into your chewing habits! It can give us information about our bite, our gums and the use of our jaw.
Even without food you can explore how you tend to bite by simply pressing your lower teeth against the upper teeth. Notice if you feel more pressure on one side of your bite than the other. For some people this could be the source of mysterious headaches in the temporal area.
If you place your fingers very gently on your left and right temples and bite your teeth, you will notice a small contraction in the temples. Depending on how you bite, you might notice that it triggers more the right or the left temple. Let me know what you found out! Happy Thanksgiving!
Do you tend to cross your legs when you sit? If you do, throughout this week whenever you find yourself crossing your legs, notice which leg is on top. Is it always the same one or does it vary? Notice if there is a pattern.
Try once to cross the other leg on top and notice if it feels unfamiliar or less comfortable. Many of us have the tendency of crossing the same leg on top. It’s a habit worth becoming familiar with, especially if you tend to cross your legs a lot.
Crossing the legs is not an action that happens only in the legs, it involves the pelvis and the trunk. Try the following: place each hand on either side of the pelvis – on the top of the pelvis, the iliac crest. To find the top of the pelvis, place your hands on your waist and slide them down until you bump into the bones of your pelvis.
Keeping your hands resting on the pelvis, slowly uncross and cross the legs a few times, bringing the same leg on top each time. Notice if as you cross your legs, the pelvis turns a bit and one side of the pelvis comes a little forward. Which side comes forward? The side of the leg that is on top or that is below?
Notice if one shoulder also comes a little forward. Remove the hands from the pelvis and slowly cross and uncross your legs paying attention if one shoulder tends to come a little forward? Which shoulder, the one on the side of the leg on top or below? In other words, do your pelvis and your trunk rotate in the same direction when you cross your legs or do they rotate in opposite directions? Or maybe your shoulders don’t turn. What is it for you? There is no right or wrong. Just notice what you do and get to know your own habits. As Dr. Feldenkrais used to say, “When you know what you do, you can do what you want”.
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to e-mail me or leave a comment below. I would love to hear about your experience.
When you are sitting, do you tend to have more weight on the right side of the pelvis or on the left? Or is it equally balanced?
Throughout this week, I invite you to every once in a while bring your attention to your pelvis and sense where your weight is. Does it vary? Does it tend to be always on the same side? Can you tell? Try not to judge it or correct it. Take a moment just to be curious and get to know what you do.
If you can't tell, try lifting one sit bone off the chair just a little bit. It's a small movement. As if you wanted to place a sheet of paper underneath. Do it a few times on one side. Then do it on the other side. Is one side harder to lift than the other? That's probably the side where you tend to have more weight.
I would love to hear what you found out. Email me or leave a line below with any comments or questions.