Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Sleeping on Sandwiches - Day 7

Sleeping on Sandwiches - Day 7

The Posture Police Blotter has been on hiatus for awhile and I'm bringing it back with a daily blog that will run from June 20 through September 22. This daily edition will have a different focus to it and the gem in all of this is that what I'm going to be writing and what I've written about posture and the Alexander Technique are all related. Follow along and learn how!

Showering Without a Shower Curtain 101 - It's All In the Elbows!

Following up on the success of yesterday's bathroom repair, I thought I'd share my adventures in showering this morning (sorry, no photos included).  Last night I gave the bathroom a good scrubbing to clean up any grime that had been left behind from the repair work and my partner took down the shower curtain, which had become quite moldy along the edges due to the water having been running constantly from the leak in the bathtub.  He intended to make a trip to Target yesterday evening to purchase a new curtain, but after cleaning up, it was of course time to eat and before long, it became clear that he wasn't going to make it to Target before closing time.  I was not surprised.  He prefers to do everything himself - prepare the food, feed the kids, do the laundry, clean, shop, and so on.  "Wow!" you might think.  "I wish my partner/husband/wife did that!"  Trouble is that he routinely bites off more than he can chew and still wants to do it all himself, so things back up.  It takes him a lot of courage to delegate responsibilities for household tasks, but good news is that he's doing it more and more.  In any case, based on his track record, I was not surprised that the shower curtain wasn't purchased.  I had been in this situation before and likely will be again.  I find a lot of things about the way we live as a family frustrating, but this one I don't sweat too much.  It's really all in the elbows.

So, if you ever find yourself in a similar situation in which someone has torn down your shower curtain and neglected to replace it, take note!!!  (Psst . . . what your about to learn also has applications that may be more typical to your life and the things you do).  

First and most obviously if you are in the showering situation, don't turn the water on too high.  Adjust it while you are standing in the shower.  You may be able to turn it up a bit higher at that point as you'll be blocking more of the water from spraying out with your body.  You'll have to stay in front of the spray to maintain this.  Here's where we get to the elbows.  As you wash, keep your elbows close to your body.  I find that about 90% of the water that ends up on the bathroom floor arrived there by traveling down my upper arms to my elbows.  As I was washing this morning, I realized how much my elbows wanted to stick out, but how unnecessary it was to stick them out.  It was like my elbows had minds of their own and wanted to tense as I raised my arms.  I had to release the excess tension in them to get them to stay low.  If you want to go a step further with this, don't just relax your elbows, but aim them backwards away from your wrists.  This is a very useful, but tricky step.  You'll likely end up tensing them as you aim them, but instead of tensing them, just think about them pointing away from your wrists as if there are imaginary arrows going along your forearms in the direction of your elbows.  In terms of the Alexander Technique, this is called "thinking" (rather than "doing").  It's not thinking like thinking of what you'd like for dinner, but more of an energized, embodied thought.  It's not "doing", meaning that it's not "muscling" it or pushing.  Just point or aim your elbows back and make sure that you don't pull your hands away from what they are doing.  If you do this well, you may find that your wrists and hands feel freer.  Give it a try when you're doing the dishes, typing, drinking a cup of tea, pushing a stroller, writing, or drawing.  This way of directing your elbows is a useful tool when you're doing anything with your hands including showering without a curtain if you ever find yourself in that situation!

Try it and let me know what you think! 

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