The Human Skeleton (1)

I’m not sure how the human skeleton has become such a symbol of fear, danger and evil. Why do people use the expression, “skeletons in your closet”? I actually have my skeleton I use to draw from and have to put it in the closet sometimes. I would hate to scare anyone. I guess people have come to think that skeletons represent death. And that’s okay. They should represent death. We need to acknowledge death every now and then. But, most of all they represent life.

The human skeletal system is truly amazing. I could go on all day about those powerful bones. But, what I really want to share with you is how vital it has become for me to draw from the human skeleton. It can be a little intimidating at times. There is so much there to learn and know. I am taking a systematic approach to learning it better. I choose a theme that I can relate to either in my body or in someone else’s.

For instance, my piece titled “The Elbow is not an Island”. With the elbow it seems that so many people suffer from injuries to the elbow. Many times that is caused by not using the core to stabilize movements. Another example is my piece titled “Seasons and Senses”. With the hips we can actually feel so much in the pelvic girdle. There are so many sense receptors there. By creating drawings of the skeleton using this “theme” approach I am able to tie together the entire concept into one unified composition.

How does exercising help reduce stress?

In a way, it’s always seemed to me that exercise could increase stress since you’re pushing muscles and heart to work harder. And I can see where there’s some types of exercise that would, in fact, increase stress. Such as, when I see someone working out using improper alignment and swinging heavy weights all over the place just because they saw someone else do that or at some point in their lives someone told them to do it that way. There are a lot of other examples of “stressful” exercise practice but today I want to focus on the positive. Relieving stress is a huge reason to work out. But, that needs to be the intention going into your exercise practice.

By listening to your body and using a disciplined practice such as mindful fitness it’s truly amazing how you can de-stress and restore body and mind.

4 key things to focus on in order to reduce stress through exercise:

  • being aware of your body- If you’re tight somewhere don’t push. Come away from it and breathe into it.
  • restorative exercises- Take time to observe the alignment of your spine in reclined thigh-over-thigh twist.
  • breathe-
  • intersperse countermoves into the workout- For example- push-ups into backbend to open the chest.