Five movement inspired gifts for your loved ones this year.
The gift of movement is the gift that keeps on giving. These are my five favourite gift ideas that will help your loved ones to live well in their body, I can't think of a better gift than that.
1) Squatty potty. I know, I know, you didn't expect the first gift to be the gift of being able to poop and pee more effectively and efficiently but check this out https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=YbYWhdLO43Q for everything you needed to know about having rainbow poop. The benefits of squatting for health is well known and until the advent of modern toilets we would have been squatting down to poop and pee (for us ladies) several times a day. If you suffer with frequent constipation, haemorrhoids, pelvic floor disorders or you're a human being wanting to maintain a healthy colon and pelvic floor then this is a must in every bathroom.
2) Foot alignment socks. If you've ever been to one of my yoga classes you've no doubt at some point done some corrective exercises for the feet. The mobility of your feet or lack of mobility will have repercussions further up the chain of your body. I know working out the feet isn't particularly sexy but it will go a long way in keeping your body feeling well. Modern shoes generally have a small toe box so wearing these foot alignment socks helps to counteract the squishing of our poor toes. These foot alignment socks helps you to do corrective exercises on your feet whilst binge watching your favourite TV series, just pop them on your feet and watch.
3) Yoga Tune Up ® therapy balls. It's no secret I'm a big fan of these grippy, pliable and portable self Myofascial release therapy balls. They create a shear in the tissue like no other tool and believe me when I say I have tried pretty much everything on the market. No other tools compare and are like rubber pain killers for all your aches, pains and niggles. I order these in from the states and they come in four different sizes.
4) Barefoot/minimal shoes. One step better than having to correct and reverse the affects of wearing shoes all day is switching over to a more minimal or barefoot shoe. We are shaped by the things that we do the most often and we are also shaped by the shoes we wear. Every time I see images of the foot binding practices that used to be in practice in China I'm disgusted by how nonsensical it appears, yet we wear shoes that are shaped nothing like our feet for the purposes of "looking good". It's actually not that far removed from those crazy practices. My favourites are vibram 5 fingers and vivobarefoot but Nike and other more popular brands are also doing their own versions of minimal shoes, check for a wide toebox, no squished toes and a moveable sole. Check out this blog by Katy Bowman on the best winter minimal shoes http://nutritiousmovement.com/shoes-the-winter-list/ and also this book by Katy Bowman on transitioning to barefoot http://www.amazon.co.uk/Whole-Barefoot-Transitioning-Minimal-Footwear/dp/0989653986.
5) Hanging bar. This is a great stocking filler to decompress the spine and give your lats, shoulders and core some much needed attention. I've recently been educating myself on the benefits of hanging and have been attempting to just hang, that's right just hang, no fancy chin ups or pull ups just hanging. I need to ensure my body, that has had a lack of hanging or pulling motion for pretty much all my life is ready for these new loads I'm placing on it. Which means lots of shoulder mobility work and preparing my body for each stage that arises. A yoga practice uses our shoulder pushing muscles quite a lot with planks, downward dogs etc but there's nothing in the yoga sphere (the exception being body surfing in Yoga Tune Up®) where we pull our body weight, so this is a new skill that I'm learning, you may also see me hanging on branches in the national park and on the monkey bars in the children's playground. The world is our gym after all :)
That's it my five movement inspired gifts. Do you have any that you would add to the list?
Advanced clinical massage therapist and yoga teacher.