Change Your Age - The Book


Change Your Age is a powerful, easy-to-follow program that can help you feel years younger by teaching you new ways to move, feel and think.
 


Change Your Age book coverIn this unique, practical guide, Dr. Frank Wildman offers the revolutionary program he’s been developing with students and clients for over thirty years. Based on the principles of the pioneering Feldenkrais® method, The Change Your Age program teaches you how to return to the exploratory, creative movements of your youth, engaging your brain and body to maximize your agility, strength, and vitality as you age.

Change Your Age will show you how to look, feel, and move younger, offering invaluable tools such as:

  • The Change Your Age Mobility Survey, helping you evaluate:
    • Do you move old for your age?
    • How young do you feel?
    • How young do you want to feel?
  • How to assess if your current fitness program is hurting instead of helping
  • How to recognize and change physically damaging habits to avoid injury and pain
  • 30 core lessons that help you discover more youthful movement
  • Tips to improve flexibility, posture, and the coordination of your mind and body

Winner of the 2010 New York Book Festival "How-To" Book Award. Change Your Age is in bookstores and available from Amazon.com now!
 



Excerpts from the Book

INTRODUCTION
YOU REALLY CAN CHANGE YOUR AGE


sample-lesson_01WHAT MAKES a person old? Some people think it’s wrinkles; others think it’s stodgy attitudes. But, really, the culprit is our habits. When we unlearn these habits and create new ones, we make our bodies and minds younger, stronger, and more flexible. In essence, we create a more youthful and intelligent body at any age. Unlike other members of the animal kingdom, as humans, we only gradually learn how to control our bodies. To survive as infants and children, we must learn to lift our heads, push up our chests, sit, crawl, walk, jump, skip, and run. Once we learn these—and ever more complex—movements, we stop the learning process and our movements become habituated, often in ways that put stress on our bodies or ways that become rigidified and locked over time.

sample-lesson_02We’re left with a lifetime of habits—from how we swing a tennis racket or sit at the keyboard to how we move, when we cook a gourmet meal—that can become harmful to our bodies. The good news is that we can learn new habits that make our bodies and minds more agile and more fit. The easy-to-learn exercises and sequences in this book will help you break away from physically limiting habits and steer you toward feeling as you ordinarily would at your best—and perhaps, youngest—moments. With the Change Your Age program, you will move beyond the idea of doing exercises the “right” way or measuring how well you’re doing by looking at yourself in the mirror and instead return to moving as you did when you were younger.

sample-lesson_03Although exercise and movement in general can feel good and be considered health-related, not many people make the same connection of exercise to their brain. Using the principles of neuroscience, you can learn to guide your body internally in order to discover new sensations, a new and wider range of movement, and new techniques for coordinating your movements for ease and efficiency. You will engage your whole body and your brain in simple but powerful movement sequences that can actually re-groove your brain’s neuropathways so you begin to move in healthier, stronger, more coordinated, and even graceful ways. These exercises adapt to you and your exact needs. The results you see in your sense of vitality and youthfulness will attest to their effectiveness. Moving well, and using our whole body, is one of the best ways to reverse the all-to-common effects of aging. You can have a spring in your step, an air of grace, and stability and ease of movement at any age. What it means to be 50 today—how you function, what you are able to achieve, your life expectations, and how you appear—is very different from just 50 years ago.


SAMPLE OF CHAPTER 3
Lesson 2: RELEASING THE HIPS INTO PLEASURE

 

  • INTENTION: To find a comfortable and pleasurable way of releasing excess work in stiff muscles of the inner legs and hips.
  • STARTING POSITION: Lie on your back with your arms down and your legs straight.

  1. sample-lesson_04Feel the pressure under your heels and notice if you feel the difference in the pressure from the floor touching your left heel compared to your right. Is the pressure more on the outside of one heel than the other? Also, observe the pressure on the calf muscles. Does it help tell you which of your two legs is pointed more to the ceiling and which is pointed more to the outside? Make sure your legs are relaxed. Don’t try to hold them in any particular way.

  2. Very gently, turn your right leg further to the right and let the knee softly bend, so that the outside edge of your right foot begins sliding on the floor up towards you. Slide the edge of the foot back down the same track it went up. Repeat the movement several times, very slowly, searching for the path of least resistance and effort as you slide the outside edge of the foot up and down on the floor.

    Change Your Age tip: As you slide the foot up and down, make sure the knee hangs open completely, so there’s no work in the inner muscles of your thigh. The more unnecessary muscular work you perform, the more difficult, heavy and resistant the movement of the leg becomes. Every so often, let the leg rest with the knee bent and the foot pulled up to make sure you let go of the inner thigh muscles.

    After exploring sliding the edge of your foot up and down the floor, rest and observe what’s changed in the way the leg is resting on the ground. Is the leg softer? Is it pointing in a different direction than earlier? Does the hip feel softer? You might even find that your lower back has released to the floor on the right side.

  3. sample-lesson_05Perform the same exploration of this soft and lazy movement on the left side. Is it easier or harder that the right? Notice if your eyes, or even your head, pull to the left side when you move the leg up and down. Rest. Feel the expansion in your pelvis and the release of excess work in your legs

  4. Turn both of your legs open, with the knees hanging apart, and slide the outside edges of both of your feet up towards yourself at the same time. As you go up and down this way, slowly and gently, feel what your back and your pelvis do to assist the movement. As the edges of your feet slide up, keep some distance between them.

  5. sample-lesson_06Rest with your arms on the floor above your head, with the elbows slightly bent out to the sides. Once again, slide the outside edges of both feet up towards yourself and leave them there with your knees hanging open. Now, let your head easily roll from side to side while breathing deeply. Rest in this position, with the knees suspended and the arms open, and feel the comfort of being like a baby sleeping on the floor. Let your ribs move freely as you breath.

 

Additional educational materials by Frank Wildman.