I hate exercising. The thought of setting aside 30 minutes of my time for working out is boring. Through trial and error, I have stumbled upon one exercise that is super easy, quick and works on both the mind and body – crawling. It is a primal movement that most of us have done as babies and has numerous benefits.
Crucial development in babies
Except for a few children with physiological issues, nearly all of us begin our life of movement by crawling. Crawling on our hands and knees require the coordination of opposite-side limbs. This contra-lateral or cross-lateral (crossing sides) development is crucial for a child’s physical and mental development. On the physical side, crawling helps develop our bodies for upright activities by building the muscles of our shoulders and hips. It develops synchronicity and fluidity of movement and also our core strength. While, on the mental side, crawling develops the corpus callosum the important pathway between the brain’s hemispheres. This connectivity between the right and left hemispheres is crucial for the intellectual development of a child. It is the superhighway for learning. Studies have shown that Albert Einstein’s corpus callosum was thicker in many areas, which indicates greater connectivity between his brain’s two hemispheres and probable reason for his brilliance
Reset Button for the mind
Human beings are contralateral – the left side controls the right and the right the left. When under stress, we are unable to process our emotions because we end up being stuck in our emotional right brain. Our left brain is locked out. In order to clear our mind, we need to reset the connection between the two hemispheres. What better way than crawling. It reprograms our nervous system, enhances focus and attention and calms us.
Crawling is a full body workout. It uses nearly all the muscles of the body without putting unnecessary stress on any particular muscle group. It improves spinal flexibility, increases shoulder strength and hip fluidity. It helps develops our core, I find it better than planks. A stronger core means improved reflexive strength. Our ability to respond to challenges effortlessly and quickly automatically improves our self-esteem. The feeling of being in control, the essence of our solar plexus chakra, the seat of our personal power. No longer do we feel the need to crawl under the covers. We can crawl our way to our core self. We are the masters of our destiny.
Personally, I prefer the bear crawl however you can choose from 21 Different Crawling Variations
Practically, all of our mind-body systems depend on integration and connectivity – right to left and vice-versa. Crawling is the easiest and the best way to achieve this. It is like a reset switch that brings the mind and body back to equilibrium. Besides, it is a full body cardio exercise that deeply relaxes the mind. A relaxed mind means a relaxed body. What more do we need from our exercise regime?