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Thought for the day February 2015

23 April 2014

Have you ever wondered why, despite all our medical and technological advances many of us are suffering from aches and pains, recurring injuries, poor posture, weight problems, sleeping disorders etc., etc., etc.?

Is the human animal so poorly designed that despite our sophisticated achievements in creating this modern world, our bodies are breaking down on us?

In actual fact, the human animal is a remarkable design capable of amazing feats and able to function efficiently for a very long time.

So why do we keep finding all these problems?

Technology has overtaken evolution.

All animals are inherently lazy. Laziness saves energy. If a wild animal has shelter, safety, food and water for itself and its offspring, it won’t do very much to change it’s situation. If the environment in which an animal lives changes it will change it’s behaviour to adapt. Adaptation is the essence of evolution, where a species changes it’s characteristics to make the most of a changing environment. Evolution takes thousands of years, spanning many generations refining the new characteristics.

Our early human ancestors were the same, adapting to their environment. The big change came when we worked out how to adapt our environment to suit us. Technological development powered by the human brain works at a much faster rate than natural selection. Which lands us where we are today...

It may seem a long way from the first stone implements to the iPad, but the principle is the same: We want to achieve more by doing less.

In our quest for efficiency we have surrounded ourselves with technology which makes up the fabric of our modern world. We have a roof over our head, clothes on our back and eat food from the far corners of the world. We make ourselves as comfortable as possible, which means we don’t have to walk to a cave for shelter, or south for the winter or up to the forest where we know the best berries grow.

Today we blame cars for making us sit too much but it goes further back than that...have you thought about the invention of the chair?

Our fashion shoes hurt our feet, but not as much as sharp stones used to do, so we have flattened every surface we walk on (although we prefer driving). Instead of gathering food ourselves we go to work in order to pay someone else to produce it, feed it to our children, and teach them to grow up to create a more efficient world for the future.

Today’s world moves fast. We make a lot happen in a short space of time, and therefore we don’t appreciate every moment. How often do we sit under a tree, waiting for the rain to clear, contemplating the scene before us? We grab the umbrella and jump in the car bus because we’ve got things to get done.

The modern world, which we have created, is totally different from the world into which evolution created us. Which is why we don’t seem to be living in harmony with our own bodies. We ache because we don’t move enough in the ways for which we were designed. We get stressed because we move too much in ways that don’t allow us to relax. We age prematurely by bombarding ourselves with toxins, which we created and which we could protect ourselves from.

At this point in our evolution we need to adapt this modern lifestyle to help it work for us. The changes do not need to be major, but we do need to make an effort. If we want to feel better we only have to move a little better, a little of the time, and the changes will come. We can fight stress with rejuvenating relaxation. We can keep ourselves young through flexibility. Nurturing our skin, the largest protective organ, will help reduce the damaging effects of the elements.

The changes need only be small, and if we seek out the most effective tools available and approach them with the right intentions, the results can be fantastic. Inner strength and harmony can help us glide through this modern fast paced world like the graceful marvel of evolution we were meant to be.

Read the Bälans Blog for hints and suggestions on how to move more efficiently, feel and look better in yourself and reduce stress in your life.

By Joakim Valsinger, Level 3 Pilates Teacher


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