How do you Recuperate at the End of the Day?

Laban Movement Analysis: How do you recuperate at the end of the day?
Image by Jona Rotting, Flickr

The past few weeks I’ve spent a lot (too much) time in front of a computer. I really don’t idle well. I like to move. Shocking, I know.

One of the things I really love about the LMA system is its approach to recuperation. In a world where (far too) many people spend their days in front of some sort of screen, sitting in (usually horrible) chairs, and doing a lot of work right in their near-reach and frontal space it’s a bit surprising to me that most individuals “recuperate” at the end of a long day by doing mostly the same thing: sitting in a big soft chair, focusing their eyes on some other screen, and keeping their body relatively unchanged from the day.

In my intro to LMA class I often tell my students that LMA doesn’t just give us tools to analyze what we are doing—it also helps us see what we are not doing. And in terms of real recuperation, the “not doing” is often the key to healthy rejuvenation.

Our bodies were designed to move. Simple, right? The more experiences, range of motion, and qualitative changes we give our body the more supple, buoyant, and lubricated they become. Most kids have probably heard someone tell them “don’t make that face for too long or it will stick.” Little do we know how true this.

So if you find yourself staring at a screen for multiple hours at a day, or slumped in a chair for too long, or whatever it is that seems to be your “home base” for movement—mix it up!

Mix it up:

If you spend a lot of time working and focusing in the space just in front of you, try twisting or arching into the back space.

If you find your joints are often flexed while sitting in a chair, extend them while doing a great big “good morning” stretch.

If you feel yourself using shallow breath, try singing a song or focus on deep breathing.

If your spine is always straight and rigid try some snake-like movements to loosen and invigorate it.

If you use a lot of Direct attention, Bound flow, and small isolated movements (all which usually come when using a computer), try big sweeping motions in the air with your arms (and legs!). Let your eyes expand their vision to take in as much of the world as possible. Imagine your muscles are made of water and they are flowing outward.

Rather than simply collapsing at the end of the day, experiment with how even five minutes of drastically different movement can improve your mood and well being. What do you have to lose?