EMHH Episode 40: Going to Your Limit Will Limit YouDec 07, 2022
You've probably have heard that if you want to improve, you have to push beyond your comfort zone. You're encouraged to go to your maximum, to develop more willpower.
But is that approach REALLY serving you?
In this episode, learn when it's more effective to stay WITHIN your range of ease and comfort.
You'll learn why pushing to your limit can backfire. And why you'll probably improve faster if choose to move with ease, lightness and pleasure.
You'll also hear how you can apply this mindful approach to helping improve your HORSE'S movement too.
And best of all, you and your horse will enjoy the process!
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Hello and welcome to Easier Movement, happier Horses. Today I'd like to talk to you about your limitations. That doesn't sound very polite, does it? But what I want to talk about is how when you always go to your maximum, when you always push up against your limits, you can actually be creating more limitation in your life, okay? So in the work that I teach,
which is the Feldenkrais Method, it's a system of, you know, improving how you move, how you think, how you act, how you move. And one of the things we talk a lot about is this idea of doing small, slow, gentle movements, right? We're not pushing up against your limit. I, you know, in my classes,
I'm often reminding my students, don't go anywhere near your maximum. You know, don't go to your limit. Things like that. And the question is, well, why? What? What's wrong with going up against your limit? Isn't that how we improve? And I'm going to say in this case, it's not very helpful, as a matter of fact can be quite counterproductive,
because what we're doing in, when you're improving, how you move, right? Your flexibility, your balance, your strength, your coordination, all this good stuff, your re-learning and rediscovering healthier movement. So it's like we're where your nervous system is deciding that it doesn't need to keep holding onto these old movement habits that, that are no longer serving you.
And instead, you're exploring these healthier ways to move. If you simply go to your limit all the time, you're just reinforcing your old habits. It also, when you go up against your limit, not only is it reinforcing this whole idea of limitation, it's like you're telling your brain over and over, this is the end, this is the end,
this is the end, right? And you're trying to rely on willpower, not instead we wanna rely on skill power. But what you're also doing is you are reducing your ability to feel. When we go to our maximum, we go to our limit, right? We have much less reduced feel. So we want more sensation, we want more ability to discern differences because that's how we learn,
that's how we improve. So, to give you an exam, cause this is true for the horses as well. So to give you an example from something you com, you probably heard about, a lot of people do carrot stretches with their horses. And that's when you hold a piece of carrot or some other treat out at various angles and your horse reaches with his or her mouth to get that carrot.
And you do it in such a way that you're creating, you know, different, most people are thinking of, of stretching different parts of the horse's body. But they're often, when I've seen it, I've seen it done very, very poorly many Times. Now, it's not to say there's some people of course can do it. Well, they do it skillfully and they're very knowledgeable about it.
But much of the time I see it done very poorly, where people are taking the horse to the feeling of limitation, right? To the end point of that stretch, for example. And what's happening is that, and I've seen this over and over, back, muscles are quivering, adductor, the inside thigh muscles can be quivering. All kinds of things that most people are not aware of are happening.
The horse is also, all they care about is getting that treat right? They're not, you're not paying any attention to the quality of the movement, how well distributed, the effort of the movement is just going to the maximum, whatever that takes that may be greatly overusing one part of the body and underusing other parts. You're not distributing that effort of the movement in a healthy way.
So you can create actually quite a lot of strain and wear and tear damage over time if this is not done well. So again, that's when you go to the maximum you can, that can happen. Again, that's not to say that all people do carrot stretches wrong, but I've seen it over and over again. Now, if instead you broke that movement,
whatever the movement is, maybe it's bending to the side with the carrot stretch, that's a common one. If you broke that down into small, tiny pieces, you could, IM help the horse improve each piece of that movement in a healthy way. We usually do this without any food involved. We, and I teach this in my move with your horse programs,
how you can use your hands to encourage the movement in all the different parts, kind of wake up the horse's whole body and then the movement becomes easy and very pleasurable. This is important because we want to associate ease and pleasure with movement. So the brain will want more of it. If you just associate like trying really hard and this feeling of limitation and having to overcome limitation,
that's what will be, you know, associated with movement. And that's not what we want either for ourselves or for our horses. So remember that when you keep the movements in the beginning, when you're relearning how to move in an easier way, we're always, hopefully through our whole life, right? We're go helping ourselves move in a healthier, more intelligent,
more efficient, comfortable way, right? When you're relearning in this way, you want the movements to be small and gentle and nowhere near your maximum. Okay? Then, oh, then you'll allow, once the movement gets healthier and easier, the movements will get larger and faster and all of that good stuff. You'll be more powerful just naturally because you'll be more coordinated.
But especially in the beginning, we wanna stay well within the range of ease and comfort. Super important because also, you know, that limit feeling of limitation is like a, an alarm bell for the nervous system. And so that distracts from learning, your body starts going into more of a protection mode rather than a learning mode. So remember that, so,
so this whole idea of like pushing the envelope and really going to your maximum, going to your limit can really limit you. And this is true for you as well as your horse. So play with this idea of maybe smaller, more gentle movements done very intentionally, very mindfully. And it's amazing, amazing how much they can improve you. And I have a lot of free,
I have short free videos online, you know, on YouTube. I have my free rider masterclass, of course, that will encourage you to do the movements in a smaller, more gentle way. And then you'll see how you can effortlessly improve there. There's that feeling of ease and elegance and effortlessness, and that's what we want. We want that associated with movement,
okay? Not pushing, pushing, pushing. Cuz that just reinforces our limits. So to get my free masterclass, if you haven't already or wanna do it again, which I encourage you is MaryDebono.com/rider. You could also search for me on YouTube. There's some other free videos. And if you join my list, I, I often send out little free videos and things like that.
And certainly my programs, we delve into this quite a lot. But think about that the next time you're, you're tempted to push to the limit for yourself or your horse, maybe ask yourself, is that really the best thing right now? Or staying in the range of ease and comfort and curiosity more important and more powerful for producing new possibilities, okay?
Rather than reinforcing our old habits or old limitations. So here's to wonderful new possibilities for you and your horse. Thank you so much for joining me here. I so appreciate, I love sharing this info with you and I can't wait to talk to you again soon. Bye for now.