Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Wednesday: May 31, Chapter 3: Rotation, Head, Tongue, Pelvis

Life is movement. This book will be offering up awareness through movement lessons every third chapter. To learn to be more aware, and to improve our inner image of who we are, and to increase flexibility of mind and body, and to get smarter, and….To get us out of the ruts of moving the way we always have. To re-turn to our love of learning. To have more joy in the simple and wonderful moving possibilities of being human. And….
We’ll talk plenty of the benefits. Now to the first lesson. Please lie on your back, in a comfortable but firm place. A wooden floor with a mat. A spot of grass. Even a very firm bed. Find a place to lie on your back and enjoy being free from the demands of gravity.

1) Start by scanning your self. Feel the sensations of you against the surface underneath you. Feel the sensations in your right leg, from ankle and toes all the way up to the hip joint. Do the same for the left leg, and compare the two. Does one feel longer or heavier? What is the difference, if any, in the way the toes are pointing? Which areas are touching the floor/ground and which are rising up from it? Now sense your arms, in as complete a way as possible. And your spine, where is it touching the floor/ground and where does it rise up? How is your pelvis lying? Where is your head resting on the floor? How is your breathing? This could go on and on, and feel free to ask yourself questions about how it feels to be you, right now, lying on the floor. (Read a section, or a sentence, and then do it. Go back at the end, perhaps, and repeat when everything is clear to you.)

2) Begin to slowly roll your head left and right. If you are more comfortable on your back with your knees up and feet standing, come to this position. Let your head roll simply and easily right and left. Do this many times, each time searching for ease and pleasure. Increase awareness of what else happens as your head rotates. Go less than your full range. Always go slow and with less effort and more awareness. Notice your breathing as you do this. Notice any places you are using extra effort and let this effort be less. Make this pleasurable and learning at the same time, learning how you connect to you.

3) Rest. Always rest between movements to allow your brain to integrate whatever it is you are learning, and to break the habit of rushing from one thing to the next. After a rest, raise your knees forward, so your feet are standing on the ground. Let your knees go easily side to side and again, go less than the full possibility and go so slowly that you can sense, vertebra by vertebra, the rotation in your spine. Feel what else is involved as your legs move side to side, especially being aware of your pelvis and your ribs. Make sure to notice your breathing as well, and to search for extra effort and let that effort go. Do this many times, with pleasure and increasing learning.

4) Rest. Notice how you feel now, compared to before moving. Now move your tongue to the left and the right inside your mouth. This is a simple movement and you can enjoy its ease. And what more awareness can you bring to it? Make sure, again, to sense for extra effort, to search for pleasure and learning and to include awareness of your breathing as part of the movement.

5) Rest. Then, with the feet standing, begin to move the knees to the left as you move the head to the right. And then bring your knees to the right and your head to the left. Be gentle. Notice how in the middle knees and head are both lined up forward. This can be a very small movement. Make it slow and graceful. This movement can be confusing. Go slowly. Keep awareness on finding and decreasing extra effort. Bring awareness to your breathing when you can. Keep this up until it is slow and easy and pleasurable and you can sense your breathing as well as the moving of your head and legs/pelvis in opposite directions. Notice what is happening in your spine.

6) Rest. Rest a little longer than you might habitual want to. Now move your head right while you move your tongue to the left, and bring your head back to the left at you move your tongue to the right. As before, slow is fine, small is fine, less effort is absolutely crucial. Breathe easily and notice your breathing as you do this many times, with learning and pleasure and mindfulness.

7) Rest. Now think about this, and only try if it seems fun and useful. If not, come back to it at some later time. Think this through before you try or don’t try this: your head goes right, your tongue left and your pelvis/legs (with feet standing on the floor) to the right. And then you do the reverse, with head to the left, tongue to the right and pelvis/legs to the left. If you decide to do this, go slow. Don’t demand instant learning. If it is “hard,” then good, you have something to learn. If it is “easy,” good, then do it with greater and greater attention to more of you, to ribs and spine and breathing and even the shifting of weight on feet and shoulder blades. Go slowly. Increase mindfulness and pleasure.

8) Rest. Now, with feet standing, simple move the knees right and left and push out your belly a bit each time you go to the side. To help this, you might push one hip slightly off the floor/ground as you rotate to the other side, and push out your belly as you raise each hip. Remember to keep this easy, to do less than your full range. Feel the belly moving forward as coming from your back directly behind your belly button. I call this the “power back,” and for now, to co-ordinate the power back moving forward as the legs tilt side to side is wonderful. Again, slow, aware, pleasant.

9) Rest. Move your legs in this way and in one left/right cycle move your head in the same direction as the pelvis, and in the next cycle, move your head in the opposite direction. This version includes the power back moving forward each time your legs tilt to the sides. Do this many times, until you can breathe easily and with awareness as you do this. As always, do less with more mindfulness and pleasure.

10) Rest. Let your legs go long if they aren’t already. Notice how you are lying on the floor/ground now. Notice changes. Notice new feelings of aliveness or connectedness or relaxation or pleasure. Review in your mind some or all of the movements. Come to standing, and see if you feel different than usual. Walk around for awhile with awareness and no rushing off to the next thing, nor any talking to interrupt your inner attention and present awareness.


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