Embrace Your Inner Animal

Yesterday, as my daughter and I were eating our afternoon snack a heron emerged from the tall grass in our front meadow also eating snack.

My daughter saw the heron (she is turning into a little birder, courtesy of her Papa!) and asked if I would take pictures. This tells you how many times we’ve had wildlife on our property and I grab my camera to takes photos…. inside scoop I am a nature photographer nerd.

So of course I had to grab my camera and head outside to take some pics.

When I was following the heron around trying not to spook it, I couldn’t help but watch it’s movements.

FYI, I am also a movement junky. As many of you know I love helping moms out of movement patterns that may be causing pain or discomfort into more efficient and beneficial movement patterns that work with your body and not against it.

So when watching other species move is really intriguing.

The way the heron can go from slowly strolling along into full flight in a matter of seconds was a sight to see and it made be reflect on how our bodies need to adjust and alter course in split seconds.

The difference between animals and humans is animals lean more into the autonomic or instinctual aspect of the nervous system, where humans tend to over ride our autonomic or instinctual portion of the nervous system.

Our habits, external forces, stress, accidents and injuries and so many other contributing factors play a role in our loss of the automatic.

Now, some of you may be thinking, but I know how to “automatically” breath or drive or whatever without thinking about it.

To which I say, yes habits or functions that keep us alive, like breathing, are automatic for those without neurological damage.

We can go through our day barely thinking about the movements or actions we are taking because we’ve done them so much. Just like an animal stocking prey or taking flight.

However the difference is allow these contributing factors play a larger role in how our bodies function than animals do.

For example, when an animal has a life threatening or stressful situation, it’s instinct kicks in to either freeze, fight or run. But almost immediately after that threat is removed, the animal with rebound and “let go” of the physical reactions that occurred in the body….like the increase in adrenoline or endorphins. You can see them shaking out the stress.

I believe this may also be part of the shaking that occurs after birth. Mom’s body has gone through a trauma, regardless of how “natural” birth is and our instinct kicks in to let go of the stress on our body.

I remember shaking uncontrollably after giving birth, without feeling cold. But I also remember feeling more relaxed after shaking, both mentally and physically.

So what can we learn from the animal world to propel our movement ability?

Embrace your instinct….

Allow your body to let go…..

Work with your body….

Use the most efficient modes of movement….

Understand that habits don’t need to define your movement….

When I’m working with new moms who may have lost their ability to control the pelvic floor, a muscle group that is meant to automatically work for us so we don’t pee or poop when we’re not suppose to, we really focus on recreating that connection.

That innate ability to have the body automatically know what it’s suppose to do without us having to consciously think about it. For some it has nothing to do with how strong the muscles are or how fit you are.

Sometimes it’s allowing the body to dig deeper into the mind-body connection to perform a task it knows instinctually how to do.