I had the absolute pleasure of going back to NZ for the weekend, and despite several rather unsettling earthquakes that could influence your body, had the most amazing time. My nephew is just 20 months old, and my niece 3 ½, and they taught me so much in the 3 short days that I was with them.
Whenever I see small children, so fresh and new to this world, they always make me think of how it is that we learn, both intellectually and physically about the world around us. Watching little Blake master new words with a single exposure, and then remember them perfectly later in the day reminded me of how easily our brains can learn when they are open and available. (I have the cutest video of him learning to say Hippopotamus..!)
I also watched them physically and saw how easy it is for us to adopt physical habits that dictate how our body will work far off in the future. Especially during a child's most active rates of growth (young childhood and then adolescence) how they sit, stand and sleep can dramatically influence how their physical body develops. Both kids naturally sit in a ‘w-sit’ position, with their bottom between their feet, thigh bones twisted in. This position always makes be cringe because of the rotation through the knee joint and its influence on the hip. Their Mum (my Sister-in-Law) reports that she always sat like that (and has had problems with her knees) but didn’t realise that there was anything at all wrong with it. Trying to get the kids to switch to sitting on their feet, or on their bottoms made me feel like a very nagging Aunty, but really does have a massive influence on how their bodies will develop.
Over time, consistent internal rotation of the femur (thighbone) and rotation through the knee will encourage a slightly internally rotated hip socket and looser ligaments on the inside of the knee. Turned in legs are not just undesirable for dance, but can lead to lots of different knee issues as well.
What things do you do during the day that are shaping your body, either positively or negatively...?