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Maureen McHugh, Feldenkrais
Not By Strength Alone
Wellness In Motion
. http://wellnessinmotion.com

Not By Strength Alone

When you are training, or recovering from injury, you need, of course, a certain amount of strength work to feel well physically and to perform at your best. But, you cannot achieve your goals with strength alone. And, too much of it, at the expense of other ingredients, can get you into a very unbalanced situation and, thus, into trouble.
Here are five elements you need in addition to strength.
Self-awareness. You need to know what you are doing. Then, you can do what you want. And, you can avoid doing what you do not want. This knowing includes intellectual understanding of body mechanics and well-developed kinesthetic sensation.
Coordination. The body is an assembly of many bones and muscles, organized through joints. Humans have many more possibilities of physical expression than other animals, but they also have the possibility of going bad in a way that animals do not. As an example, your cat is always graceful, but she will never do a pirouette.
Variability. It is not good for your body, and it is boring for your mind and emotions, to do the same thing over and over. All the parts of the self need for you to mix it up to create fresh challenges, fresh contexts and fresh insights.
Breathing. The breath needs to participate in everything you do. Too often, the breath is held. The consequences are many and include, muscle tension, joint damage, reduced stamina, and strain in performance, which is felt both by the athlete or musician and the observer.
A higher purpose. Why are you training? Where is your horizon psychically? Spiritually? Clarifying this makes a difference in how you perform and how you feel.
By including these five elements in your training, along with strength, you can look forward to physical and musical performance that enriches you and the people around you, and that gives a basis for longevity.

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