April 06, 2010

We're 3D (pt.1)

  Forget about Avatar, we're the ones that are 3-dimensional.  My mind is beginning to break apart. I always thought that the body was composed of muscles, each individual and separate to the next.  When I would go to the gym, for instance, I would say something to myself like, "I'm going to work my triceps (triceps bracchii) today," and then would proceed to do my workout through a series of arm extensions which would contract my triceps, thus building muscle by straining it.

  It makes sense that we go about compartmentalizing our muscles, our bodies and our lives in such a way. We mostly want to know that everything in our lives fits into a certain category, it's easier that way, right?

  Well, I am grateful for being able to study a modality like Yogalign which combines inspiring practice of body and movement with breath (yoga), in conjunction with a therapeutic massage therapists mindset in studying anatomy and how we move, connect and are put together.  Because, now I have found that...-get ready.

  That when I work out at the gym, the triceps brachii I think I am singularly working is hardly the case at all!
First of all, it's made of 3 muscles (duh-TRIceps), and connects to the scapula and two of its' muscles, teres major and minor, which leads towards lots in the back.  One of the muscles of the triceps, the lateral head connects to the deltoid muscle, which is like this artichoke looking meaty muscle on the cap of the shoulder and originates on a bit of the scapula, called the 'spine of scapula'. The scapula connects to muscles like the trapezius, rhomboids, and levator scapula, to name a few. Then these muscles are connected the lattisimus dorsi (the lats), which connects to at least the last 3 to 4 ribs, and now that you know this, the ribs are also held by the erector spinae group which runs vertically from the sacrum to the base of the skull and connects to ALL the ribs.... WHEW! Are you out of breath, I am.

  So what's my point. When you work out your arms next time remember that you really are engaging everything. And the mistake is to think that we can only work one muscle group at a time. We actually can't. Just like in life, everything is connected and the illusion is that we are all separate, just like the muscles in our body. There is no such thing as one muscle. The groups (there are 639 named) are just for us to classify and compartmentalize, causing us to say, "I don't really want to work my legs today, they're kinda boring." Ha. Guess again. The impact is, that our health is compromised as is our lives as we actually think an action, any action we take, whether its a squat, a curl or doing the dishes the next morning instead of right after dinner doesn't make a ripple out into the world, or have any impact at all. It's almost to say that we're not responsible for how the world is. What do you think? 

  To take this a step deeper, I haven't even mentioned the fascia system, which getting back to my Avatar reference, is a 3-dimensional web of interconnecting muscle fibers which act like a giant support structure that hold us together. Yes, the fascia hold the body together.  This would be like the analogy of the metaphysical supernatural world of our bodies. Oy! This post is gonna keep on going, I just want to come to the computer and write a paragraph or two, and go to bed, which I have to do. Now. Because the roosters are gonna start roosting in precisely 4 hours from now, which is a whole other story in itself. 

  So, tomorrow, a continuation of this post with more of the fascia system and how incredibly amazing and important it is for us to know about when coming to moving our bodies and staying pain free.  Because as my teacher Michaelle says, "we're mostly made up of water and space, the denseness we feel is a result of the mind."  I'm not too sure if you can grasp that yet, but for now, sit with it.

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