When I completed the first segment of my Yoga Therapy training, one of my brilliant teachers (Maria Alive) introduced me to the amazing core-strengthening benefits of crawling and other baby-like movements. The benefits were confirmed and elaborated upon when I stumbled upon this podcast on Original Strength during a long drive to Steamboat Springs. Since listening, I’ve been crawling, rocking, and rolling almost everyday and have noticed my body’s pain decrease, especially in my low back and cervical spine, as my core becomes a more integrated whole. I'm totally sold on these Pressing Reset and Original Strength practices, which focus on returning to our body's innate inclinations towards holistic movement, as I've had a hands on experience of a deep core shift in my own body.
Here are some of my notes from the podcast:
Diaphragmatic breathing integrates and activates the whole core, which enhances our deep core strength.
Regaining head control is vitally important to structural integrity because the head is deeply connected to structure of the entire body. Our society tends to have reverse flexion and protrusion of head from sitting. We need to relearn how to keep our heads up with muscular engagement.
Sitting in chairs for prolonged periods of time disrupts postural integrity, which results in pain and poor alignment.
Contralateral movements, such as walking and crawling, realign left and right hemispheres of body and brain. The simple act of walking can reintegrate the entire body.
Crawling literally ties you together with gentle strength training that sharpens your reflexes.
Crawling builds a really solid reflexive foundation for optimal strength and mobility.
Crawling brings your entire body together in an x, all muscles in your center together and brings you together contra-laterally.
Crawling is the gait pattern walking is built off of.
Crawling helps set your posture and keep the curve in your low back.
Rocking in table top (weight shifts from heels to shoulders) sets your lumbar and c-spine curve.
I highly recommend checking out either the podcast or book on Pressing Reset and Original Strength! The book is especially cool because it has a ton of exercises to try out from crawling, to rocking, to rolling.
A Crawling Exercise to Try at Home:
Start out on all fours in tabletop position. Make sure you’re on a carpet or soft surface if you experience any knee pain.
Life your gaze to be looking ahead or you rather than towards the earth.
Bring the tongue to the upper palate, right behind the teeth.
Lift the left palm and right leg off the earth 1-2 inches and slide them forward 6 inches.
Place them both back down at the same time.
Lift the right palm and left knee and slide them forward. Set them down at the same time.
Continue crawling forward, make sure you lift and lower opposite palm and leg simultaneously and lead with the gaze.
Option to try crawling backwards or on the balls of the feet rather than knees.
Move nice and slow to feel the core benefits deep in your system! Try this practice for a few days in a row and notice what happens to your body. It can be pretty miraculous for a lot of people and their pain!
If you're interested in learning more about structural integrity and what it looks like for your individual system, schedule a Yoga Therapy consultation with me. My hope is that these techniques and resources are as helpful for you as they have been for me!
With love and blessings,