"No matter what your movement practice, the question is: Are you fully enjoying your physical existence? Because it is that which brings you health."
When I was first taught yoga it was "hard" and "driven". I was given cues like "drive into your hip joints". "Tuck Tailbone." "Engage your core" "Square your hips" and even "tighten your anus". My hip joints do not like to be driven into. Tucking my tailbone injured my hips. Engaging my core meant I couldn't breathe. My hips are not square. And tightening my anus, all the time, in all my poses... It felt so wrong. So hard. So painful. So contracted.
I did yoga to move, to balance the body, to bring body and breath together. To be in myself and with myself and to accept myself as I am. I practiced yoga for grace and for presence, and for a healthy body for a long healthy life. Not for driving into my joints. And not for a tight a**!
The Franklin Method gave me language for what I already knew and experienced in my body. That we do not need to be aggressive to get results. That too much is too much. And that it is possible to train for and practice with longevity, ease and grace while improving strength and flexibility.
"The Franklin Method Approach can be applied to any movement to improve it’s function. Our goal is to create happy minds & healthy bodies through anatomical embodiment and Dynamic Neurocognitive Imagery (DNI)™."
Franklin Method was created by Erik Franklin as he noticed that how he was dancing was causing him injury and pain. You can read more about Franklin Method here.
Anatomy is the study of the structures of the body. But "Anatomy" is irrelevant if we don't understand how those structure function and move. Anatomical embodiment is understanding the forms and functions in the body both in the mind and body. So we can move in alignment with our form and function, instead of fighting with form. To find ease and grace is to find our how we move and then give the body uplifting, graceful imagery.
In Franklin Method, we explore the The Art of Change, which involves 4 steps.
1. Observing the status quo. Where are we starting from?
2. Have a goal/make a plan. I would like to improve this movement. I am going to use this instruction, this cue, this image in my movement to try to make it better.
3. Do the intervention. This is the chance to use your tools or try out a cue or correction.
4. Reflect. Is it better? Did your intervention create the outcome you were looking for? Are you aware of this change? Are you being honest with yourself? How was your experience overall in the body? Are you breathing?
I I use this formula to explore some of the instructions I have been given in yoga, I learn that they do not work for me. Now I am committed to looking more deeply into those cues and to finding ways of moving that feel delicious, increase strength and flexibility, and bring more of my spirit into my body.
Pause and listen, feel or connect to the sensations in the body. This is our starting point. If we don't know where we are, how can we know what we are doing. How can we experience the changes? How can we honour our process? It isn't about fixing. It isn't about perfecting. This process is about embodying and feeling which is where truth, presence and wisdom can arise.
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