S.T.O.P. To Cultivate Better Proprioception

Posted in Lessons from the Mat, Anatomy, Yoga Tune Up®

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In my last post, I talked about how my meditation practice and anatomy studies have deepened my understanding of the body and mind in ways I didn’t anticipate. One of many ways the two practices complement each other is through the body-sense of proprioception. Regardless of how coordinated or uncoordinated you already are, proprioception is a skill that can be cultivated. Things like practicing yoga regularly help, but even if you’re lucky enough to get to a 90-minute class on a daily basis that still only makes up 6% of your entire day. 

For the remaining 60% of your day (after taking into account a full night’s sleep), you can work with the Buddhist meditation acronym STOP to continue cultivating your proprioception. STOP stands for:

Stop

Take a breath

Observe

Proceed

When you stop and take a breath, give yourself a moment to observe your posture from the inside out. Then, establish a healthy posture as demonstrated by Jill Miller below. When you’re ready to proceed, proceed with this new posture for as long as you can. Set your watch to beep at every hour, set a phone reminder, stick post-it notes in key places, or exchange several daily texts with a movement buddy to remind each other to STOP. Making this a regular practice can help to improve your body sense over time.