If a screw needs turning, and you have no screwdriver with which to do it, you could use a butter knife instead. It’s expedient and will do the job.
But if you have 1,000 screws to turn, and you use a knife, eventually you’ll have neither a knife nor a screwdriver.
The case of the knife and the screwdriver is not just about using the wrong tool for the job. It’s about knowing the difference between how something might function, and how it should function. Our ignorance of this distinction not only leads to damage and injury, it maintains them. Certain kinds of actions, especially when repeated throughout a lifetime, become erosive habits. They dull the once sharp edge, and make sharpening it up again much more difficult.
So many of the pains and injuries we accumulate over our lives—the back aches, the weak knee, the sore neck, bunions—are rehearsed, acquired and maintained through the way you habitually move. You build injuries by combining effort with ignorance. It can happen in a single action, or spread over a long time and 1,000’s of repetitions, with each turn of the screw hidden in your muscular habit.
The truth is we move with little or no criteria for what we are doing in our daily activities—sitting, standing and walking. We acquired these habits before we even had the language to describe them—and they were good enough.
We sat at our desks through years of school in random postures of put-upon scrutiny and boredom.
Perhaps we were lucky and found a sport or instrument or performing art where refining our movement and attention had a context and purpose.
But for most of us somewhere in our teens, we closed the window on learning. We stopped exploring and refining our movements, and we may never have been shown how in the first place.
But the capacity to learn and refine is still there.
You just need the right context.
Awareness Through Movement, provides that context. One where you not only uncover your hidden habits, but build better ones and make them reliable. Your brain will not replace an old habit until it has a reliable and superior alternative, a better screwdriver, if you will.