By Jacqueline Rubinstein
Have you had the experience of not being able to easily check your blind spots while driving, biking, or even walking?
If not, let me tell you -it’s scary! You either have to force yourself into a movement that is painful, cringe, and hope you are seeing everything there is to see or take a leap of faith, use your mirrors, your hearing, and your peripheral vision to the best of your ability, praying that you are clear to go.
This is more common than you might think, and it got me thinking that it is my civic duty to share a movement exercise that will help with this serious problem.
For your safety and the safety of everyone around you, I want to offer you a simple movement exercise to improve your ability to turn and look over your shoulder. Even if checking your blind spots isn’t a challenge for you, I bet you will find this mini-exercise useful.
And you can do it right where you are, sitting in front of the computer!
During this exercise, please go very slowly, make only small movements, and keep your breath easy and soft. You will feel more improvement with the less effort you put forth.
I will say that again because it is so counter-culture: You will feel more improvement in a direct relation to the less effort you exert.
Starting position: Sit on the forward edge of your chair. Rest your feet flat on the ground, about hip-width apart, with your knees directly over your feet.
1. Slowly turn your upper body to look to the right a little bit. Then return slowly to face forward and rest for a moment before doing the movement again. Repeat this movement 4-6 times. Notice exactly how far to the right you can see easily, without feeling any strain.
2. Focus your eyes on an object or spot straight ahead. While your eyes and head continue to look straight ahead, slowly turn your upper body a little bit to the right. Then slowly return to face forward, and pause. Repeat this movement 4-6 times. Don’t stretch or strain, use force, or turn further than is truly comfortable.
3. Do movement #1 again. Is there any improvement in your ease of movement as you turn? Can you see a little further to the right? Rest in the middle, and notice whether your left shoulder and the left side of your neck feel more relaxed.
Stand up and turn towards the right. Then turn to the left. Is turning to the right easier? Do you feel other differences? You can achieve the same improvement in your ease of turning to the left by reversing the above directions.
This is just a little, tiny taste of the movement exercise part of the Feldenkrais Method. Want to do more?
Here is a link to the full movement exercise, Turning While Sitting.
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