Using the natural forces around us

Using the natural forces around us

Amaryllis

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/

Moving in your body is stretching

Moving in your body is stretching

Stretching is something we all do intentionally or unintentionally. We can go to an exercise class or the gym or swim in a pool as an intention; focusing on certain muscles to strengthen and get a great workout. Or we can wake up in the morning, yawn and stretch without realizing, ‘hey, I’m stretching’. Moving in your body is stretching.

So how do we want to move in our bodies? Is there choice?

Yes there is!

If we think of movement as a release, like the ‘ahh’ of a yawn, rather than an effort that we have to make, then the way we move begins to change. Gradually we will feel more ease and less tension and constriction in our muscles.

Experiment with walking today as a form of relaxation and release. Feel warmth flowing through your legs down into your feet and extending beyond out into the world around you. Feel lightness under your arms as if a puff of air were buoying the weight. Allow yourself to enjoy just walking.

How could you use the idea of movement as a release while chopping vegetables?