As I watch my Amaryllis plant thrust a thick green shoot toward the sun from the bulb below, I know my eyes are tricking me. The sun’s light is beckoning the plant’s stem to emerge through photosynthesis; eventually revealing its beauty in a fully formed flower. Using the forces of nature as a guide enables us to move our bodies with maximum strength, range of motion and grace.
Whether you practice yoga, Pilates, running etc… or going about your daily life you can apply basic forces in nature to enhance your body’s movement. For instance, while stretching your body, first notice areas of tension or restriction. Now imagine the dynamic of levity or lightness while you are feeling the warmth of the sun’s rays inviting a release of muscle contraction. Without consciously changing what you are doing, your muscles automatically respond to this new impulse. Your body expands into greater freedom of movement.
Ideally, we want all of our body’s movements to be in balance, using both gravity and levity. In addition to fluid and graceful movement that is properly aligned, the forces of gravity and levity benefit our emotional body as well. Jaimen McMillan shares in The Fourfold Path to Healing, in describing the benefits of the exercise the Crest, “Through it the Emotional Body swings through the sensation of rounded heaviness and extension in lightness. It is thus good for back pain, adrenal problems, digestive disorders, diabetes, osteoporosis, neurological problems and weight loss (as the body feels the difference between hovering and full heaviness).”
Notice how you are moving. Are there some muscles that are restricting your movement? Are you lacking strength in some parts of your body due to muscles that are not fully functioning? Try using the dynamic of lightness in a playful way. What are your results?
I will be giving a workshop on Spatial Dynamics this Saturday, January 31st, at 9:30 a.m. at Unity of Wilmington in Wilmington, North Carolina. To register for the workshop click here. For information on Spatial Dynamics go to http://www.spacialdynamics.com/
I have heard it said that when a sculptor works she takes away what is not needed; revealing exquisite form in space. This dynamic also applies to creating graceful, fluid movement in the human body.
Posture is defined as: the way in which your body is positioned when you are sitting or standing. However, we are continually moving from one posture to another. The manner in which we move our body becomes important, and I believe movement is more important than posture. Posture is static, whereas movement is dynamic.
When we experience pain in our body, often the originating cause is a misalignment in the way we move. A chronic neck pain could be created from constricting and tensing your muscles while doing common activities such as chopping vegetables. Jaimen McMillan, co-author of The Fourfold Path to Healing, explains, ‘Imagine a magnet underneath the board pulling the knife across the space between you and the vegetables… movement is a release rather than an effort…allowing the cutting to precede with ease.’
If we practice ‘movement as a release’ in our daily activities, then we too are sculpting a beautiful way of moving in the world. For more information go to http://www.spacialdynamics.com/whatIsSpacialDymanics.shtml
How is your body feeling?
I will be giving a workshop on Spacial Dynamics Saturday, January 31st, 9:30 am at Unity of Wilmington. To register click here.
Our bodies need to stay warm and dry with the weather turning cold and damp. When we are cold we naturally contract our muscles and tend to move less. This in turn creates aches and pains in our bodies. Staying loose and flexible becomes more of a challenge during winter.
Layering in our clothing choices becomes one solution, but how? If our clothes become too cumbersome we feel heavy and sweaty. We can even get a chill from trapped moisture and feel lethargic in thick wool sweaters and leggings.
Silk is a wonderful alternative keeping our body warm while providing freedom in movement. Benefits of wearing silk are: it preserves the body’s heat in the cold, it has moisture wicking properties keeping you dry and comfortable, it repels mold and mildew, it is hypoallergenic, and it is light and smooth making silk easy to layer under clothes.
“Silk contains natural protein and 18 essential amino acids. Studies have shown that amino acids calm the nervous system and fight against the effects of aging, especially on the skin. Silk also contains cellular albumen which helps speed up metabolism of skin cells therefore will reduce sign of aging. Silk pillows and sheets therefore are good for your facial skin and body.” For more information go to http://www.redkora.com/silk-fast-facts.html
And… when I am wearing silk I feel lighthearted!
How do you stay warm?
In considering how to relieve constriction, pain (due to nerve impingement), numbness and possible muscle atrophy resulting from scar tissue, I use Manual Lymphatic Drainage. Scar tissue forms over the site of a wound or cut as part of the body’s natural healing mechanism. Scar tissue is connective tissue that is made of fibroblasts in newly forming scars and dense bundles of collagenous fibers in older wounds. Scar tissue becomes hard and can adversely affect the use of muscles and joints.
Manual Lymphatic Drainage is a slow, rhythmical, massage technique that enhances the natural flow of lymph and fluid drainage around the injured site. When used in combination with Swedish massage and applying vitamin E oil directly on the scar tissue the muscle’s normal movement is improved. Pain and numbness are reduced or eliminated and you are feeling better.
For more information go to: http://www.hometownfocus.us/news/2012-12-14/Massage_for_Your_Health/Scar_tissue_and_the_benefits_of_massage.html
How has healing from surgery affected the way your body moves?