Sunday, June 04, 2006

Sunday, June 4, Folding Forward on the Back

As humans, we are tall and columnar, made for rotating around the central axis easily. That’s why the first three lesson were about this rotation. There are many more, and we’ll probably return to some, but now it’s time to look at something else wonderful we can do. We can fold forward. To experience this most quickly, if you are sitting, simply allow yourself to slump forward, so your back goes back and your shoulders come forward, and your tailbone tucks under a little as you rotate back to sit farther back on your pelvis. The back is folded forward in this position. Some of us can fold a lot, some hardly any. Doesn’t matter, we can all explore and in exploring and not forcing, and trying out this and that and being curious, we can learn and improve.

1) Please lie on your back.. Really enjoy this time to connect with the ground or floor or Earth through your back side. Feel where in your back you press most firmly into the floor. Feel where you lift up off the floor. Feel where you touch lightly the ground behind. Feel your shoulder blades and your pelvis. Feel your shoulder blades, again, right and left, and see if you can sense where the shoulder blades leave off and the ribs under them start, where the tops of the shoulder blades are and where the bottoms. Sense your breathing. Sense your right leg and your left. How are they the same? How different? Sense both arms. Again, are they exactly the same? How are your hands oriented? (How to do this and read at the same time? Well, by now you are figuring out a way. One is to read a section at a time, then do it as best you remember. Then read again to see if you missed anything and do it once more.) Sense all of you, and roll your head very gently side to side. Rest.

2) .Begin to bring your right shoulder forward and then release it slowly back to the ground. Many times. Then do this with your left shoulder. And then your left hip. And then your right hip. Do this slowly and notice your breathing and what happens in other “parts” of you as you do each of these. Rest.

3) Now try some nice combinations. Bring the right shoulder and the left hip forward. Many times. And then the left shoulder and the right hip. Again, so it beyond, “Oh, this is easy. I can do it.” What can you learn and notice and enjoy? Now both shoulders forward at the same time. And both hips. If this seems a no go, relax, and imagine it. Or just do it a tiny amount. Or, help by pulling your stomach back toward your spine. Belly back, hips forward, is the famous “abs” thing so many people get so worked up about.

4) Rest. Now bring your feet to standing, so the knees are forward. Place your right hand behind your head and your left hand, with thumb next to the rest of the fingers, in front of your left knee. Feeling this as the same diagonal as right should and left hip forward, slowly bring the right elbow toward the left knee. And then undo, and come back completely to rest, with your head on the floor and no tension in hip or shoulder. Then repeat, many times, this movement. Rest. Then leave the right hand behind your head, and put the left hand in front of the right knee, just below the knee cap, thumb with the rest of the fingers. Bring the right elbow toward the right knee. Don’t try or demand or push for them to meet. Just have fun folding forward. Rest. Now do this fun thing: as you bring the elbow toward the right knee, roll to the right so you end up on your right side as your elbow approaches your knee.

5) Rest. Do this to the other side.

6) Now, do 4 again, but with this emphasis. First, each time you bring your elbow toward a knee, bring your lower back into the floor or ground behind you and breath out. This is the same as bringing your belly back, making your lower stomach area smaller and breathing out. Good, and also: every third time when you are bringing your elbow toward one knee or the other, think of bringing the that shoulder forward. In other words, sense the movement most in the shoulder. Every third time think of bringing the hip or the leg whose knee you are working toward forward, which is to say, sense the movement most in the hip ( and back going back). And then every third time think of bringing the shoulder and the knee toward each other. And noticing the belly/back going backward, and the diagonal muscles bringing the shoulder and hip toward each other.

7) Do this on the other side.

8) Rest between movements and rest now and then just move right shoulder and left hip forward and feel that in your “abs” and in your diagonal. Now bring your left shoulder and right hip forward and feel that in your so called core. And what is the core muscle really? The BRAIN. The brain what is using attention to not just guide, but to learn and modify and experiment and enjoy. That kind of brain leads to a good life.


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