I have a weak rhomboid in my left shoulder. This causes my left shoulder blade to poke out (winged scapula) more than my right side. Thus, I have been doing shoulder exercises all night while typing to correct for this. Sometimes, your muscle (in this case, my rhomboid) just needs some targeted activation to get it to do its job properly and help you with daily tasks.
We have spent a significant part of this blog talking about Alexander Technique, but there are more active bodywork movements you can try to stay fit and build awareness. We are a culture of “much activity,” so if you want something different from the non-doing, these may be great options.
We have listed some below.
1. Yamuna Body Rolling
This technique, started by Yamuna Zake, uses several soft balls (different balls for different body parts in different colors) to realign muscles and restore muscles into proper balance and tone. It’s basically self-massage in exercise form. This technique seems to be dominated by women.
2. Feldenkrais Method
Moshe Feldenkrais was a former Jiujitsu and Judo practitioner who started a technique similar to Alexander. (Rumor has it that he actually consulted with Alexander for one lesson, and Alexander made sure his ideas were not copied. They are fairly similar, although Feldenkrais focuses on more separate muscle groups while the Alexander Technique still heavily emphasizes the primary control. Feldenkrais also emphasizes the idea of habits. He uses a method to use slow movement corrections to turn inefficient movements into more efficient ones. There seems to be both men and women who frequent Feldenkrais.
3. Laban Movement Analysis
I first was introduced to Laban Movement Analysis at an Alexander Technique open-practice session sponsored by Ellen Bierhorst by a lady who practices it and wanted to expand her knowledge of other movements, like AT. This is better for those analytical, intellectual types who love to label and categorize every kind of physical movement (think consultants that love to use frameworks). Movements can be categorized into body, effort, shape, and space.
4. Miracle Ball Method
This is very similar to Yamuna body rolling except there are only two small balls. I bought this for my cross country coach’s wife after her pregnancy. It helped her a lot. Part of that is she is a trainer herself. Thus, she can really figure out how to fix kinks.
The balls come with an instructional booklet. However, my Alexander Technique teacher uses it with constructive rest to help students realize they are holding tension in certain areas of the body.
Here is a link where someone, through a church service, figured out how to describe key spiritual principles through Laban Movement Analysis in “The Choreography of God.”
Want to learn more about the Creator who designed the way we move. Worship with us at the Inbound Church <–Click!