Ever since I remember, he twiddled his thumbs…and he’s damn good at it. He can go on for hours twiddling.
I took notice of this as a child, and tried to mimic it during my visits with him. I failed. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t twiddle for as long as he could. I tried to mimic him again recently, this time discovering a lot more about thumb-twiddling.
The first major discovery –– being that your thumbs become increasingly strong and aware of how to maneuver. No more loosing at a thumb war again.
And I bet you didn’t know there’s two types of thumb twiddling –– one where the thumbs touch and another where the thumbs avoid contact.
Here is a video of my grandpa twiddling his thumbs:
Both are equally delightful, with each style offering a different sensation. Sometimes there’s a great deal of joy from avoiding contact, feels like a game this way, and other times it’s rather soothing to have the intimacy of the full-contact twiddle. It’s even kind of comforting to hear the gentle ‘schmooshing’ sound generated by colliding your thumbs together.
As part of my twiddling study, I reached out to other sources and found this:
“Thumb twiddling is frequently used as an example of a useless, time-wasting activity.”1While this made me laugh thinking of all the “time-wasting” he’s done, I disagree. After much twiddling myself, I believe that a great deal of his calmness & coolness is in fact, from thumb twiddling.
- Comfortable seat
- 1 left hand with thumb
- 1 right hand with thumb
- Take a comfortable seat – take your time to ensure you’re comfortable and your posture is straight.
- Hold your left hand with your right hand and interlock your fingers.
- Take your dominant hand thumb and proceed to move it in a circular motion around your weaker hand’s thumb.
- Take your weaker hand’s thumb and chase your dominant hand thumb in a circular motion.
- Experiment with the two types of twiddling: contact of the thumbs and no contact of the thumbs. Choose one to work with for each twiddle session.
- Practice, practice, practice.
5-15 minutes is a good start. When that becomes comfortable, bump up the time if your mind and thumbs desire.
Donna Wilding is a teacher of yoga, student of yoga for 9+ years, and a student of life for 31. Donna recently quit her corporate day job to teach yoga. She’s happy to say that she no longer survives in the city by having a job, but instead, by sharing her passion. Donna believes the benefits of community to be irreplaceable. She currently resides in Toronto, Canada where she brings the healing aspects of yoga to corporate offices. www.donnawilding.com
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