Joyful Movement

Welcome to my blog. I've designed this site as a resource for existing and potential bodywork clients, and anybody else who has an interest in improving their relationship to their body.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The tragedy of first position

This is too cute to pass up. Notice the array of strategies she employs to get her feet properly positioned. She cycles through her available engrams in various combinations. When none produce the desired result, she mimics her teacher by trying to move her own feet with her hands.

I recently read that it takes 10,000 repetitions to master a motor engram. A motor engram is a neural map created in the primary motor cortex of the brain that encodes a coordinated set of muscle movements. Mastery of an engram is associated with changes in synaptic efficacy along the neural pathways associated with the learned skill. It is like water taking the path of least resistance through a landscape, carving the terrain as it flows. This girl had yet to establish a motor engram to get her from normal standing to first position.

It is much more difficult to change an engram than it is to learn it the first time. "Old habits die hard." However, there is much research pointing to the plasticity of the brain and its neural mapping.
"It's never too late to teach an old dog new tricks."

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