I have signed up for 10 weeks of body work with my wonderful friend, Dan Schmidt, owner of Open Hand Body Work. He does Feldenkrais and Structural Integration. Look it up if you want to learn the details about what this is. This week I am writing about how my sessions with Dan have changed my life and how you can apply it to training your dog.
Imagine someone coming up to you and asking you for support. The person isn’t even looking at you. The person is actually slumped over with their shoulders forward. Now imagine a person coming to you asking you for support and this person is giving you nice direct eye contact and he / she is standing upright. Which person are you going to be more receptive toward? Probably the person who is standing upright.
The way you carry your body affects every interaction you have including the one with your dog. I have had muscle pain for years. In fact, I was the person who slumped over. My back and shoulders hurt immensely when I even tried to stand up or sit up straight. This was true until I worked with Dan. Now my body posture is more erect. I see myself walking and talking to others with confidence.
My dog who has had made amazing shifts with his car anxiety. When I would walk him he was scared when cars would drive by us on the sidewalk. I have been training him for a few months with many techniques including energy and reward-based training. When my body posture changed I saw the hugest shift so far. I believe the result is a combination of all of the techniques I am using. My confidence with walking him increased drastically as my body posture shifted. He became more confident and calm as the cars drove by.
This week pay attention to what your body posture says to your dog. Change it up and watch the difference. If you are really motivated to make a huge shift call Dan. If you are like me I had no choice with my pain to even stand a different way. He allowed me to stand grounded, confident and in my power. My dog so sees it and feels it! Amazing!
Johanna Teresi, Professional Trainer and Owner of Four Legged Scholars LLC