Spring, Love and Health: |
Tennyson’s famous line: ‘In the spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love’ kindles in us all that indefinable feeling of lightness of being, joy, uplifting and rebirthing that suddenly makes us feel alive again after a winter of numbness. In a moment, the sky seems bluer, the puffy clouds more white and the green of the trees take on a depth of colour not noticed seconds before. The fresh new spring air breathed to the bottom of our lungs explodes inside our system lifting us almost off the ground, and you wonder how you could be so blind as not to have noticed this earlier.
Here, in the Southern hemisphere, spring in all its glory is upon us, bringing with it once more that sense of wonder at all things suddenly bursting forth with the new seasons’ unfettered and ebullient energy. The spring you suddenly find in your step is a direct result of this energy. The spring of water welling up from the ground is another definition and closely related. Yet another is a coiled steel spring which is used in a multitude of products manufactured by man. This simple six lettered word covers a broad range of emotions, meanings and practical uses affecting our everyday lives.
Can you imagine how it would be if you could experience that uplifting and joyous feeling all year long? Well you can. It is quite simple and once learned will never leave you. Let me explain. It is largely a question of how you walk. Most of us fall into the habit over time of throwing one leg and then the other out in front of us and projecting ourselves along the walkway in this manner. Our legs are rigid, muscles taut and the heels of our feet then tend to come down hard on the pavement. This sets up a jarring action which then reverberates upward all the way through our spine. Looking around and studying how other people walk will highlight this immediately. In fact, the longer you look the more walking styles you will notice and if you look longer again many of them appear more and more exaggerated and finally rather comical. If you have ever seen the Monty Python skit ‘Department of funny walks’ you will understand this phenomenon.
The problem is that all this works in favour of the pull of gravity. We spend our whole lives fighting this great downward pulling weight on our bodies and it eventually wins out by having us prostrate at the end of our time. You will notice in folks as they grow older that most tend to become more round shouldered. The head droops forward putting further strain on the neck vertebrates and they become more stooped. As this progresses, their walk slows and heads in the direction of a shuffle. This is a result of a lifetime of gravity doing its work and the person not being aware of how to counteract this effect. In the meantime however, we can fight it and keep our bodies more healthy and supple as we go through life, and therefore extending the life of a robust and healthy body a good while longer.
This is where we to come to the action of a ‘spring in our step’. Instead of clumping along in that familiar bone jarring fashion (think of the long term effects) that most of us have become used to, mainly because we have been walking this way for most of our lives and it is so deeply rooted into our subconscious it has become automatic and performed unthinkingly. This must be rooted out, exposed for what it is and replaced with a smooth action allowing you to walk unfettered and free, gliding rather than stumping along. When studying other peoples walking habits you will notice that some do in fact appear to be gliding smoothly along. All actors and models are taught this and it is immediately visible when they walk by.
It begins with how you place your feet. Lean forward slightly and as you step forward rise up on to your toes further than you normally would. In each of your feet there are twenty six bones, thirty three joints and over one hundred muscles. When you walk these are all working. Have you ever noticed that even with quite elderly folk whose skin may be wrinkled and aged looking, their feet still look healthy and strong and have smooth skin. This is because your feet, carrying the great weight of your body throughout your life, put in an incredible number of hours of strenuous exercise keeping them healthy and in shape. If you carried out upper body bone strengthening exercises to the same level, your torso would show the same beneficial effects.
As you rise up onto your toes, you need to consciously stretch the long calf muscles up the back of your legs as you go. This action feels quite pleasant and in doing so it continues on up your thigh muscles and into the base of your spine. The little electric motor at the base of your spine starts up (similar to running cold water on the same spot at the end of a hot shower) and tiny pulses then begin to radiate throughout your body, filling you up with that great feeling of wellbeing. Each step follows the previous one in this fashion until you find that you are walking more comfortably and much more smoothly. Because you now have this pleasant feeling running through your body, you also become more aware of what is happening around you and objects and life take on a brand new meaning. Your spirits rise and life is suddenly fun and exciting. It’s that simple!
Without going into the scientific why’s and wherefores in this short article, all you need to do is consciously develop this into a habit. A new habit takes only twenty one days to establish so, beginning from today, three weeks from now you can have a new outlook on life. You can benefit greatly from this technique both mentally and physically – so you have nothing to lose – get started now! And all you Northern hemisphere folk can begin now so you will be good and ready to spring into action when the new season arrives.
Soon you will have regained that youthful spring in your step and be gliding smoothly down the sidewalk feeling and looking terrific. Heads will turn as you go by, and who knows, love may be just around the next corner.
Vincent Bossley is a sailor and publisher living on the Northern Beaches in Sydney. He has his own sailboat2adventure website on website for Sailors for cruising sailors, sailors preparing for their lifetime sailing adventure, armchair sailors, virtual sailors and anyone who has ever dreamed of sailing off into the oceans of this beautiful planet of ours. He offers a package of extremely useful dollar saving tips that could save the voyager many hundreds of dollars and more, plus a FREE one hundred and thirty five page ebook download of his sailing adventures in many of the exotic paradises around the globe. You can visit him anytime on www.sailboat2adventure.com
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