The nerves in our body are alive and as such need to be nurtured and engaged in order to remain healthy.
As babies we learn to crawl cross-laterally, which simply means that when we reach forward with our right arm, our left leg follows suit. It is thought that these early cross-lateral movements stimulate the communication between our brains’ hemispheres. The movements support the nervous system, build coordination and program the body’s systems to function together.
Chronic pain may cause changes to our brain that effect our balance, coordination and ability to think clearly. We know from experience, and there is now compelling scientific evidence, that mind-body techniques like yoga, mediation and tai chi can counteract these effects.
Yoga and tai chi include many movements that are naturally cross-lateral. But we can add specific “cross crawl” movements to enhance the benefits of these practices and to improve our neurological functioning by firing neural pathways in both the right and left brain hemispheres simultaneously.
Practicing a few minutes of cross-crawl movement each day may improve our gait, release tension and stress, support focus and help us develop our spatial awareness and proprioception. It may also heighten our ability of move through life with greater clarity and the ability to handle our impulses and reactions. Since the practice of yoga is about self-regulation, these are benefits I can happily embrace.
Here’s a link to a great video about cross-crawling and some exercises you might try at home.