The workshop’s focus: Explore restrictions of self, psychologically and as regards movement, which often is the same. Working with a an other (a human partner or a Pilati machine especially redesigned for this class) or alone out there - in open space.
Everyone has an image of the movements he or she performs. There is a picture of the spine, the core, a sense of presence, the chi, a center line, the center.
The core relates to deep muscles, which surrounds the spine and cooperates with orientation. The center line is in touch with gravity and expresses a vector dynamic.
The human new born learns first to express him/herself. In relationship with his/her mother or earliest caretaker it finds out how to make himself known and how to relate. The full use of the legs is last in the line of development. The development of the senses begins with the sucking instinct of the mouth, followed by vision.
There is focal vision directed at wanting to know and perfected in the brain. And there is peripheral vision directed towards the geographical surrounding and rooted in the core.
There is a new understanding in anatomy of the pelvis. It may be circumscribed as “letting the pelvis disappear (or the hidden pelvis)” and rather concentrate on the continuity of the spine’s full length, including the sacrum. In support of this new vision of the body’s base is the following fact: the majority of hamstring muscles come up the back of the leg and attach to the sacrum directly. Only a minor part attaches to the seat bone.
A number of motions, which aim at separating the perception of vertebra and pelvis in the illio-sacral joint are introduced. Introduced as well are feet and hands and their role to initiate movements connecting to the core. As is the raising of the head.
There is practice of standing up/sitting down and bending down/raising up, all worked from the sacrum and the energy of the core.
The interdependence of moving from the core freely and using peripheral vision is introduced. A recommendation: close the eyes while doing exerises if there are any restrictions in peripheral vision because of for instance an accident.
Two exercises with the reverse Pilati machine are introduced. Both aim at a conscious use of core muscles and at strengthening them. One, pushing outward between hands and feet, pulling back with the inner abdominal muscles. Two, redistribute the body weight to a point of balance in which the machine begins to lift you in an up and forward direction.
The latter is as well the standard for walking. The rear foot initiates the movement. It lifts the same sided haunch and shoulder forward and creates a smooth transition to the other foot and leg.
We begin with floor work.
Lessons are in this morning’s context: using the psoas, which makes for posture and not the illiopas, which makes for movement. Calling on the flow of energy between the feet, the core, the head and the hands. (On a side line: the importance of peripheral vision. With the loss of vision come problems of the hip and ankle. I am reminded of Fabian’s loss of vision in the left eye and recent problems of stability).
Exercises feel like automations. Stretched out on the back, one knee bent, use the positioned foot to effect the raising of the arm by the hand only. It feels a bit like pushing a gas pedal with the foot to make the arm move. The energy passes through the psoas and the core. Likewise effect a turning of the upper torso. In a similar fashion effect the turning of the pelvis from the hand positioned next to the neck. This exercise by the same token permits the upper neck vertebra to rotate freely.
After the coffee break walking forward and backward, alone and/or with a partner. The emphasis on finding the body’s upright posture and gravitational center. In addition practice to work towards another’s hands, not from muscular efforts in the arms and shoulders, but with an energy coming from the core and the surface of the hands alone (I am reminded of my dermatome hypothesis). Again it feels like an automation. The energy flows from the core to the hands into the other.
At last, first corrective exercises. Leaning with both hands, arms stretched towards a wall, moving the thorax vertebra back and fore between the shoulder blades. I get to practice an additional motion, which equals a recreation of my arm sockets in my mind’s eyes: doing the same, however, only with one arm at a time or, while the arms are wobbly, lean on the elbows.
Another round of letting the machine lift you and walk accordingly rounds up the day.