I used to think that conditioning only referred to activities such as exercise, body work, and all manner of movement in support of what we choose to do outside. We talk a lot about forming a strong and flexible back, lats that are willing to be activated in a tennis forehand or spiraling to pick up an object in a tight spot,
Tennis, or pilates or yoga, or you name it is an athletic endeavor . So, the idea is to best use ourselves in a way that we can demand more ourselves often by doing less.
Conditioning exercises offer weight work, stretching, cardio and a multitude of workout expressions (think The Barre Method, Pilates, Yoga, Gyrokinesis/tonics, biking, running, swimming, the list goes on and let’s not forget Pole dancing -I hear another great workout, although I have never tried it!).
Any of these assist our chosen activities in a way that gives us more physical fitness. All good.
But I am also thinking about conditioning in a new way. Here is a definition via Merriam Webster:
A simple form of learning involving the formation, strengthening, or weakening of an association between a stimulus and a response
Ha! Amazing, Merriam Webster must have known about FM Alexander’s troubles trying to find out how to stop contracting his neck muscles before reciting Shakespeare!!
To cut to the chase, so much what we do is governed by our learning and our conditioning within that learning.
Our conditioning, or habitual reaction is strong and ingrained. We react all day long, but in a split second, unconsciously. It is a very useful approach to recognize the familiar, right feeling thing that isn’t working for us anymore, and then take a pause and think about doing something different, however new and unfamiliar.
Another way of practicing change and recognizing conditioned habits is to sit and meditate in unconditioned awareness. In this way, we are in the present, not the past, not the future but being just now, in the moment. I have become acclimated to this simple yet supremely powerful way of being. If you meditate, you already know the value of pausing.
The work of our chosen passion/activity, whatever you want to call it is not only sweat born out of hard work, but being curious about the habits that get in the way. I always do better when I remove something that interferes rather than adding something.
If you are curious about this, book a lesson with me in my Montclair studio or online via zoom.com You can contact me here, tell me about your pain, discomfort or desire to change something: