Creating References for Change

One way of looking at a yoga pose is that it is a change that we are trying to create.


Warrior1

Triangle Twist

Side Angle

Standing Side Bend

In the process of going into a yoga pose we create a change because we are moving our body from one position into another. We are also changing the parts of our body, streching some muscles while strengthening others. We can also be changing our state of mind, perhaps going from lethargy and unhappiness to a more awake and happy state of being.
In doing a yoga pose (or in doing anything for that matter) we are creating a change, and a question we can ask ourselves while doing a yoga pose is
“What is the change that we are trying to create?”
One simple answer to this question is that given the particular “shape” of the yoga pose we are doing we can be trying to create as much space in our body as possible. As an example, in any pose, no matter which way we our bending our spine, or even if it isn’t bent, one thing we can try to do is make our spine long. In so doing we make our waist long, we open the ribcage and we lengthen the neck.
The degree to which these parts lengthen or open will vary depending on the pose we are in but it is still something that we can try to do.
As a compliment to creating space within our body another change that we can create is that of “letting go.” Having lengthened our spine in a pose we can then relax it, either while we are still in the pose or after we come out of it.
Why try to create space in our body?
Why then let it go?
For the experience of it and because it is what we chose to do. In addition, by using yoga postures as a way of practicing creating space within our body we can learn to carry that openness into anything that we do. We can look for the ways to create space within ourselves or around ourselves so that we have room to do what we are trying to do. (Then afterwards we can let the experience go.) But for now lets get back to creating change.
Having chosen (or been told) the change that we wish to create in a pose we can look for the way to create that change. So that it is easier to create the change that we desire we need references for this change. As an example, if we want to lengthen the spine, one of the ways that we can do this is to divide the spine into parts and then pull these parts away from each other.
Focusing on the part of the spine between the ribcage and the pelvis we can lengthen this part of the spine by keeping moving the pelvis in one direction and the ribcage in the other. We then lengthen our waist. So that we lengthen our neck we move the two parts that it connects away from each other. We move the head away from the ribcage or we move the ribcage away from our head. In either case we lengthen our neck. We create the change that we desire.
How do we create space in the ribcage? We create space between each adjacent pair of ribs. We open the spaces between our ribs. Because of the way the ribcage is structured it is a little bit difficult to do this one set of ribs at a time so we do them all at once. We bucket handle all of our ribs so that they move up and as they do so they separate and so we get space between each set of ribs. We open our ribcage.
While working at lengthening our neck it is relatively easy to pull our head up and away from our ribcage but one other thing that we can do to maximize the length of our neck and to make the lengthening even at the front and back of the neck is we can pull our chin in slightly as we pull our head back and up. Not alot but just enough that our head is level from front to back. Then our neck is maximally long not just at the front but at the back as well. Then not only have we lengthened the neck (and straightened it) we have also created a firm foundation from which the muscles that connect the neck to the shoulders can act from. As an example, the trapezius and the levator scapulae both reach down from the neck to the shoulder blade or scapula. With the neck straight and long and stable these muscles then have a firm foundation from which to pull up on the scapula. Because the neck is long they also have lots of room to pull up on the shoulder blades. As a result we can pull our shoulder blades up to our ears without these muscles “jamming up” for lack of room.
All well and good for me to say “move one part of the body away from another part to create space” but how do we know when we’ve created this space and how do we know if we are continuing to create space?
We feel our body. In this instance we feel our muscles or we sense the information that our body sends us about the state of our muscles. We also feel our joints and if we want to go even further we can also learn to feel the weight of our bones.
If we don’t already know how to feel our body, whether it is our muscles or our joints or even the weight of our bones then we practice. We practice moving the parts of our body so that we can learn to feel them so that we then have references for knowing when our muscles are active or relaxed or stretched or flacid or when our joints our open or closed, or straight or bent. As an example, we can get used to feeling our lumbar spine by tilting our pelvis back and forwards in time with our breath. Whether we inhale as we tilt our pelvis forwards or whether we exhale, what is important (in this instance) is noticing the changes that happen in our lumbar spine as we tilt our pelvis forwards and as we tilt it backwards.
Initially all we may notice is some sensations but we have no way of knowing what it is that these sensations are telling us. So we look in a mirror. With our pelvis tilted fully forwards, we notice that our lumbar spine is bent backwards and we may also notice that the back of our lumbar spine feels a little “jammed up.” We then have a reference for knowing when our lumbar spine is bent backwards.
Going the opposite way and tilting our pelvis backwards we may notice that the back of our lumbar spine feels long or stretched. We then have a reference for noticing when our lumbar spine is bent forwards. Practicing our awareness more and more we then may develop the ability to sense not only when our lumbar spine is bent forwards or backwards but when it is straight.
Using movement and to move between extremes and noticing the way we feel as we do our movements we can learn to feel the parts of our body. One important thing when using movement is to move slowly and smoothly. The slower the better. Then not only are we giving ourselves the opportunity to learn to feel our body we are also practicing our ability to control our body. To move slowly takes control. Once we’ve learned to feel our body we won’t have to move it slowly to keep on feeling it. We can then practice moving faster while still sensing the parts of our body, where they are in relationship to each other and where they are going.
So lets say that we can feel the parts of our body (or at least some parts) and that in the pose we are doing we know the changes that we are trying to create. How do we go about creating all of those changes?
If we are driving from one place to another the important thing is to know where we are going. Also important to know is where we are in relation to where we are going. If we are going to be travelling over a long distance what is also important is having stopping points or references along the way. These are places not only for us to rest but for us to check that we are where we think we are so that we can continue to head to where we are going. So for example, if we are heading from Toronto to Chicago and one of our stopping points along the way is Detroit, then if we somehow end up stopping in New York then we know we have gone wrong. And even though we have gone wrong at least we know how we have gone wrong so that we can correct. If we find that we are still on course then there is no need to correct ourselves. We can admire the scenery and then carry on with our journey but while being aware of where we are so that we can continue towards where we want to go.
Getting back to yoga, so that each change connects to the next or provides a reference for the next change what we can do is travel through our body, creating the changes that we desire as we go along.
We adjust one leg and then that leg becomes the reference for adjusing the other leg. Then we use both of our legs as our reference for adjusting our spine. Then our spine becomes our reference or jumping of point for adjusting and changing our arms. And then we are done. Or we can go back through our body again and fine tune the changes that we have made.Although I started with the legs we don’t always have to do so. We could also start by adjusting our spine first, and then do our legs and then our arms. We could also start with our arms, then adjust our spine and then adjust our legs.
If we know the change that we are trying to create then we can go about creating it, in any order that we choose.
Then if we feel our body at the same time we can experience the change that we create.
To read more about using references for change and experiencing change in specific yoga postures, click on any of the pictures below.


Warrior 1

Triangle Twist

Side Angle

Standing Side Bend

Having references for the change that we want to create is useful for more than just doing yoga. We may use “references” to measure change without even knowing it. For example, measuring our speed while driving if we see that we are moving at 100 mph then we are moving at 100 mph relative to the earth or relative to someone who is standing still. Measuring the speed of a ball we’ve just hit, what we are measuring is the speed of that ball relative to the earth, and relative to ourselves if we are standing still. If we are driving at 100mph and someone drives past us going at 200mph then relative to ourselves that person is going 100mph.
Measuring temperature using the Centegrade scale, if we see that it is 32degrees centigrade then that temperature is 0.32 times the difference between the temperature that water freezes and the temperature that water boils at.
Having a means of measuring temperature, not only can we measure change, but we can also create change. We can check when the oven is at a desired temperature so that we can bake our cookies. If we see that our oven is too hot or too cold we can adjust the heat so that the oven cools down or heats up to the temperature taht we need.
Having a means of measuring speed we can see if we are going faster than the speed limit and slow down. Or if we know how much time we have to get to somewhere else, we can calculate what speed we need to travel at in order to get to that place on time.
In either case, having references for change, being able to measure it, we can go about creating the change that we desire.


Basic Principles for Life

Learn more about “References for Change” in

Ultimate Simplicity and Efficiency
Ultimate Simplicity and Efficiency is about a set of Basic Principles that can
be applied to any aspect of life so that we can simplify it and get on
with living it. Among these principles is that of creating references for change, not just for doing yoga but for use in any aspect of life whether leading, teaching, learning, creating, designing, building or just having fun.
Learn more…

bodymind.zeroparallax.com

Using Movement to Practice Sensing

Previously I talked about yin and yang and unifying them with intent. Sensing our body we can respond to what we sense based on the intent we have in our mind.
The question might then be, how do we learn to sense our body? By reversing the two. Previously, with an intent, we first felt and then responded but if our goal is to learn to feel our body then we move the body so that we can learn to feel it.
One simply way to learn to feel our body is by starting with our breath. Rather than just feeling our breath as it passes through our throat, or rather than just listening to the sound of our breath we can learn to feel and sense the muscles that we use to breathe with. All we have to do is put our awareness in the right place while at the same time choosing the muscles that we attempt to breathe with.
As an example we can choose to try and sense our intercostals. These are the muscles that lie between the ribs and that can be used to expand and reduce the size of the ribcage. To learn to sense these muscles we’ll also have to at the same time use them by breathing into our ribcage. Rather than pulling our ribcage up, as if trying to make our waist slim, we can focus on expanding or enlarging it so that it feels bigger as we inhale. Then we can relax it as we exhale. So that we expand the entire circumference of our ribcage we can try expanding the front as well as the sides and the back of our ribcage, and at the same time noticing the changes in sensation in our ribcage as we do this. To make it easier to breathe into the back of our ribcage we can bend our ribcage forwards slightly so that our back opens up. Then rather than expanding our chest if we focus on expanding the back of our ribs we just may find that we can actually do it and feel it.
We can then try to breath into our entire ribcage at once while feeling our muscles acting on our bones. One other act that I find extremely helpful when trying to breathe into the back of my ribcage is to visualize two lines running either side of my spine and to imagine these lines pulling up as I inhale. These lines correspond to the levator costalis, muscles that attach the spine to the ribs and act from the spine to lift the ribs if we choose to use them.
Suppose we learn to feel our intercostals and levator costalis, or we learn to feel the movements of the bones that they act on. Where do we go from there? A logical option is the spine. Because we’ve been focused on the ribs we can expand our awareness from there to include learning to feel the thoracic spine, the part of the spine that the ribs attach to. We’ve already started to learn to control that part of the spine by bending it forwards to breathe into the back of our ribcage. Now if we put our awareness into the back of our body and move our spine as we breathe we can begin to feel that part of our body to. But so that we have some way of corraborating what we sense, it may be helpful to realize that when we bend the thoracic spine backwards we open the front of the ribcage while if we bend if forwards we open the back of the ribcage. So while doing this exercise if we focus on feeling our thoracic spine while being aware of the front of our body, we can confirm that we are indeed bending our thoracic spine backwards if the front of the ribcage opens and vice versa. One important thing to be aware of here is that pulling the shoulders back is not the same action. Not that it isn’t important and helpful, but here the intent is to learn to feel and control the ribcage and thoracic spine and so it is important to be able to isolate the ribcages from the shoulders or at least first be aware that we want to differentiate the two.
With practice we can learn to sense our ribs, our spine and the muscles that act on them and we can then radiate our awareness outwards from there, learning to feel our body and control it to greater and greater degrees.
One of the advantages of learning to feel the body, is that not only can we learn to do poses with a minimum of effort (or right effort) we can also begin to feel our alignment from within. Using the external shape of a pose as a starting point we can then use our developing ability to feel our body to fine tune the pose to our needs from there.

Unifying Opposites with a Clear Intent

One definition of yoga is that it is the union of opposites.
Two of the opposites that yoga can unify are yin and yang. We can think of yin as a more cooling style of yoga where the focus is on letting go while yang is more heated and perhaps a little more forceful. Another definition of these two opposites, and one that hopefully allows us to unify the two is that yin is using our senses while yang is responding to what we sense.
I believe that one of the keys of doing anything well is developing our ability to both to sense what we are doing our ability to respond to what we sense. The idea that ties these two opposites together is knowing what we are trying to do. By knowing what we are trying to do we can give ourselves the room to do just that or look for the way to create that room. Rather than forcing what we are trying to do we can listen and look for the easy way to get what we are doing done. Doing a yoga pose the thing that we can learn to sense our control is our body. The thing that we can be trying to do is a yoga pose. If we talk to our body while we are doing yoga, telling it what we are trying to do and then listen the response we can find the way to do the pose to the best of our bodies ability.

Doing a low lunge, perhaps with the hands on the floor, our intent might be to let the pelvis sink down so as to stretch the front of one leg and open the back of the hip of the other. Being relaxed enough to be able to feel the weight of our pelvis we can allow it to sink down. We can at the same time notice if we are holding tension that inhibits our ability to let our pelvis sink down. We can let that tension go by a slight (or major) repositioning of our body that allows the muscles that are tense to “let go”. Or we can simply become conscious of the fact that we are holding tension and let it go. Or we can try squeezing and then relaxing the tense muscle, perhaps in time with our breath. With a clear idea of what we are trying to do we can guide the way we direct our senses and also how we respond to what we sense. We can let tension go. We can also use it.

Being able to feel our body and control it and understand it we can also use muscular tension to help us get deeper into a pose. Again using the lunge as an example, say we still want to sink our pelvis down. Adding a little more intent to the pose we might imagine the back leg lifting, trying to use the muscles at the back of the back leg to lift that leg. Not a “contract everything” contraction, but a controlled contraction, just enough to cause the knee to straighten and to make the back leg feel as if it is lifting. But instead of lifting the leg, by activating these muscles, we add weight to our pose. We use the weight of the back leg connected (via muscle contraction) to that of the pelvis to help our pelvis to sink lower. We can hold the contraction and then release it or we can pulse it with the breath.  We can also play with the amount of contraction while noticing the effects of what we are doing.
Developing our ability both to sense and control our body while leading it with a clear intent we are not only unifying yin and yang, we are also unifying our mind and our body. Instead of them being two separate entities, we help them work together. The mind can sense what the body can do while the body is able to easily respond to what the mind requests.
By using our senses we can then direct the energy we send outwards in such a way that we do what we are trying to do.
We get to the point where there is no lag between the mind sensing and choosing and the body responding. They instead act as one.

Feeling the Body

One of the things I talk alot about and do alot of is try to feel my body.
Generally, the better I put my attention into feeling my body, noticing the relationships between the parts, the better I can operate it or respond to what I sense. As an example, practicing Tai Ji recently, I’ve been practicing relaxing my body more and more as I do the movements of the form I am practicing. Specifically I’ve been focusing on my hands because they are a week spot in my sphere of awareness. Feeling my hands as I practice, I notice my wrists and my fingers and I do my best to relax them given the action that I am doing. Relaxing my hands more and more I notice that it affects the rest of my body. But also it affects my awareness itself. I feel like I am then led to sense my feet or reminded to. Sensing my feet in the same way that I use my hands I can then practice making my steps very soft, smooth and deliberate. I can gently touch the floor and as I feel part of my foot touch down then I can commit my weight to that foot. Not only that I can do so in such a way that my weight presses down through the center of my foot.
The interesting thing is the better I focus my weight through my foot the better my foot can support my weight. With my weight properly centered over which ever foot I am on my foot can relax even though it is bearing weight, it can relax in such a way that it naturally supports my weight without even seeming to try. It’s as if I’ve aligned the bones with each other and rather than an external instruction, “point the knee in the direction of the toes” it is alignment driven by feeling my body from inside. It is natural alignment that occurs as a result of letting go.
Aligning my feet from “inside my body” it is then easier to find the natural alignment for the rest of my body. Feeling my hips at the same time as I feel my feet I can operate my legs in such a way that my feet and hips (and knees) find the best position possible given the action that I am trying to accomplish. With my legs naturally positioned it is then that much easier to straighten my spine and relax the muscles of my back. Even if my goal wasn’t to straighten my spine, perhaps to make it “neutral” the better my base is the easier it is for me to control my spine. Not just my spine but the parts that it is made up of including the pelvis, ribcage and head.
With my spine aligned, my head and ribcage are both affected as are the shoulders. My shoulders can then rest on the ribcage and hang from my head, relaxed yet supported and in turn then able to support my arms with the help of my head and neck.
In Tai Ji one of the reasons we try to relax the body is that it is then easier to feel it. Also, the more relaxed we are the less energy we use. Also, the more relaxed we are the easier it is to respond, to control our body with a minimum of effort.
Not only that, the more relaxed we are the easier it is for all the parts of the body to work well together. That translates to smoothness in action. When the parts of the body are all connected, they can act as one and then we can flow from one action to the next.
How do I apply the same idea outside of Tai Ji?
Feeling my body while riding a motorcycle, if I really am feeling my body I’ll notice how I go around corners. Recently I realized that while riding a bicycle I wasn’t using the handlebars to turn. Instead I was leaning my body which caused the handlebars to turn which in turn caused me and the bike to go around the corner. However, if I wanted better control I needed to use my arms to turn the handlebars while allowing my weight to shift at the same time. Applying this to riding a motorbike, if I feel my body I can feel if my arms have room to move, i.e. if my elbows are bent enough to allow me to turn the handlebars. Not only that, I can feel if I am holding unnecessary tension. If I can let it go then that my whole body can work together and it can work with the bike. My body and the bike can then become one.
What allows me to feel my body? Relaxing, but even before that choosing to direct my awareness in such a way that I notice the parts of my body and how they relate.
Riding a bike that means noticing where my center is in relationship to the bike by noticing how my sitting bones press down. It also means feeling my body and the bike as I go around corners, noticing what I do with my arms (are they turning the handlebars) and my weight (am I shifting it into the corner so that I am balanced?)
Feeling the parts of my body and more importantly noticing how they relate to each other and whatever I am connected to I can respond to what I sense.

Be Water, Be Like Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee says “be like water.” How can we be like water? Water is soft and fluid so that when poured into a cup, bottle, teapot or other container it adapts itself to the shape of the container. An important question to ask is why does it do this. Because of gravity. Water flows because gravity pulls it and because it is soft and relaxed.
How can we become like water, by relaxing. By feeling the weight of our bones and letting them sink down.

It’s been a Bruce Lee week. A few days ago I was in a martial arts class and someone said that Bruce Lee was born in America. An argument ensued and afterwards a friend found on the net that Bruce had indeed been born in America.
Later this same week Leo Babauta posts an article about Bruce Lee on his web site. (actually its a guest post by a Jonathan Mead)
That same day I take my bike to the shop to get the chain replaced. When I return to pick up my bike a friend is there playing on the computer. He is watching a YouTube video of Bruce Lee playing ping pong with nunchucks. Apparently it may not be real but still would I be surprised if he really could have played ping pong with a set of nunchucks?

It was incredible to watch and it might beg the question how did he do it. Obviously practice is a huge component of how he did what he did but I believe that a larger part is due to him being able to sense his body so that he could relax it. The same awareness that he applied to being able to sense his body he could then apply when encountering things outside of his body. Sensing his body and relaxing it and then sensing the motion of a ping pong ball he could respond in such a way that he could return the ball to the person he is playing.
Of course he didn’t just sense the ball and his body (and perhaps the intent of the person hitting the ball) but he also sensed the weapon he was using, the nun chucks. Sensing all of these things and keeping his body as relaxed as possible he could respond in any way he chose.

The subject of this post occurred to me this morning after I had just finished a very good Tai Ji practice. I realized that the practice had been one of my better ones because I had been so relaxed.
How did I know the practice was a good one? Because of the way I felt afterwards and even during the practice. The movements felt easy, light and effortless and all the parts of my body felt unified as if they were working together towards a shared goal. Afterwards I simply felt good, energized, happy.
How did I relax? By feeling my body. For me that means feeling the weight of my bones being pulled down by gravity. It also means lifting my arms or my legs with the absolute minimum amount of effort necessary to do what I am trying to do. Moving slowly while doing Tai Ji it is pretty easy then to sense tension and let it go.
It’s as if I am a marrionet with each piece of my body hanging down from a string but the puppet master is so good that there is just a little bit of tension at each of my joints so that rather than loosely connected bits of wood bouncing around my body is one connected whole moving smoothly from one position to the other.
Doing tai ji, the more I relax the more I feel tense spots and more I can let go. And while I might practice moving slowly I feel like I can keep the same relaxed awareness and ability to respond when I move faster. It’s like I’m riding my body like a wave and my body flows smoothly from one pose to another.
How do I flow, by staying relaxed and feeling my body and responding to what I sense.

Sensing tension I respond to what I sense by either relaxing the muscle that is tense or my repositioning my body as necessary so that it can relax. Sensing our body as well as what is outside of our body we can do something similar, we can respond to what we sense by moving our body based on the idea of what we are trying to do. Using nun chucks to hit back a ping pong ball, sensing our body and where the ping pong is going to be, we can respond to what we sense by moving our body in such a way that we cause the end of our nun chuck to co-locate with the ping pong ball, hitting it back where we want it to go.

Doing yoga, doing Tai Ji, doing weight lifting, running, body weight exercises, the more we sense our body the better we can respond to what we sense and the better we can do what we are trying to do. It’s as if the thing we are doing is the shape of a glass and we become water by flowing into the shape of what we are doing.

About

Zero Parallax is the term I use to describe the state where we understand an idea completely. The idea can be that of our body or of something outside of our self. The idea can be something that helps to unite us with the person we are with.

Sharing a Point of View

I first learned about Parallax in Chemistry class. We had to learn how to measure quantities of chemicals accurately. What was important was how we related to the instrument when we took our readings. Also important was having an instrument that could measure accurately.
Measuring liquid into a graduated beaker we had to stand so that our line of sight was level with the measurement graduations so that we measured consistently. If all of us in the class adopted the same position taking turns to measure using the same beaker we would all see the same results.
Now if we all measured at a viewing angle of 30 degrees we would also all get the same results. The measurements would be wrong, but we’d all be wrong in the same way.
However, if one of us measured at an angle of zero degrees and another of us measured at an angle of 30 degrees then we would all have different results measuring the same thing.
The point was to be consistent.
To be consistent we had to share a point of view, we had to measure at zero degrees. The “error” we got when we made a measurement not at zero degrees is called parallax.
If we all measured at zero degrees then we have a state of Zero Parallax, zero viewing error. We all relate to the same thing in the same way.

Calibrating for Viewing Error

Looking at the old fashioned types of clocks with hands and a face instead of a digital readout we can stand directly in front of the clock and see that it is 12 o’clock. However if we stand to the left enough 12 o’clock actually looks like 12:02. Not a big difference but enough if we have to be somewhere else in one minute’s time.
Understanding that when we stand to the side we introduce viewing error we can take this viewing error into account. We can stand to the side of the clock, notice what it looks like it is saying then shift so that we are standing in front of the clock to see what it is actually saying. Then whenever we stand at the side we know what time it actually is despite our viewing angle. We can calibrate for viewing error.
When we understand the clock and how our relationship to the clock changes the time we see we can take our relationship to the clock into account when we read it. Being able to take our relationship to the clock into account we no longer have to be directly in-front of the clock to see the right time. We don’t have to move to see the correct time because we have taken the time to calibrate for different positions.
Understanding where our self or anyone else is standing with respect to what we are looking and how our relationship affects what we see we can zero parallax.

Knowing Where we are Sitting in the Plane

A friend who is a pilot told me about zero parallax in the context of flying.
A pilot has to be aware of their position relative to the instruments so that they can account for viewing error. They can then zero parallax.
Because they are sitting off of the plane’s center line they also have to be aware of their relationship relative to the aircraft.
Looking out the window they have to know where they are in the plane so that they can align it with the direction they are going in, so they can trim it. To do that they have reference points on the airplane that they can use to align the plane with the direction they are going in. These are the points they use to calibrate themselves with straight ahead. They know that when they use these points to line the plane up it will actually be flying straight ahead and lined up with straight ahead.
This is especially important when landing.
Now suppose a beginner pilot gets comfortable flying from one side of the aircraft but then they have to switch positions and learn to fly from the other seat.
They then have to learn new reference points.
However once these points are learned they can then fly the plane from either seat.
Knowing where they are in the plane they can account for their position and fly the plane straight. It’s like they are centered in the plane even though they are positioned to the side. They are centered in the airplane because they are aware of how they relate to it.

Matching Words with Meaning

If two people are flying together, one flies, working the controls of the plane; connected to the plane, the other does the navigating; connected to the earth. And they connect to each other by working out a means of communicating so that they can share information, when it is needed. If the connection, the language they use, is good, then they can communicate with zero parallax, zero error. The words match the same meaning for both the sender and the receiver. The words become their meaning so that when the navigator tells the pilot where they are or which direction they need to go, the pilot has an image of what is coming up as if they are seeing it with their own eyes. And when the pilot asks the navigator for a specific piece of information, the navigator knows, exactly what the pilot needs.
They become one with each other and the plane they are in.
Part of it is the words that we use, using words that match their meaning, part of it is both of parties knowing exactly where they are, in relationship to each other and in relationship to what they are doing. Part of it is sharing the same idea for what they are trying to do.
Being able to account for parallax, we see the limits within which we can move and we freely move within them.