This Sandburg quote reminds me of a tool we use in Somatics called motor planning. A dream is a plan that we imagine to be true, before it’s actually here. When any movement is too difficult, painful, or feels blocked, just thinking about how you would move in that way activates those neurons in your brain, and starts the movement even before anything happens in the muscles. I think that is SO COOL!!! If you feel like your shoulder is stuck, and you’re unable to raise your arm above your head, just focusing on the movement – planning it out, starts to allow those connections to be made so that you can accomplish it down the road. Overcoming discomfort, pain, and tightness in the body can be very frustrating, and can hold us back from making the improvements we know are possible. It’s easy to think we need to push through pain or force a body part to be more flexible, when the most effective and direct way to get what we want is the most gentle one. Taking that pause to make a plan brings so much more awareness and opens us up to the beautiful possibility of change.
What other things can we dream up in our lives? How can we dream of a better world for not only our muscles & body parts, but for every aspect of life? Of our own lives, and the entire world?
We are continuing to focus on the Lower Back and Breath in our Thursday class. The muscles of the lower back hold us upright in gravity and helps to hold all our important organs of the belly. Tomorrow, we will explore some really subtle and tiny movements of the arch in the lower back.
Classes run 35-45 minutes. Make sure you have a yoga mat sized space for the practice. Your video and audio will be off when you first get in the “room”, you have the option to turn both on. I’d love to *see* you, but feel free to remain off if you’re more comfortable that way 🙂
TransiTION! (to the tune sung by Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof) There’s a lot going on now, right?! The transition to a new season, upcoming holidays, transition to a new president in the US – many of us have strong feelings about all of these things that can cause conflict with others, conflict in ourselves, resistance, and tension in the body. Life is all about transitions and adaptations – if we aren’t open to adapting, we find ourselves held back. And that causes more tension and potential pain & inflexibility in the body (and heart). Sometimes we don’t even know that we’re holding onto something and not adapting. That’s what sensory/motor amnesia is – a kind of void in awareness of where you’re held back. So how do you “see” better in order to gain awareness, and then use that awareness to make a choice of how to move forward? Well, discomfort can be a good sign that something needs to change. Whether that’s muscular or emotional discomfort, it’s your own body’s alarm system to alert you that something needs to change. Can you look at your own discomforts with curiosity, just like leaves falling off the trees ? Think of them as just passing by, something you don’t need, just falling away? It’s so hard to let go of our discomforts sometimes – we can get pretty attached to them! Discomforts can be a comfort, especially when we don’t know what could be on the other side of letting them go. Can you find some curiosity in imagining what would happen if you could let them go?
For the rest of November and December, classes will focus on the lower back and how to release more of the center. Because I want to bring more focus to the nervous system and how a Somatics practice can help to bring more balance and calm to the nervous system (for greater world change!), classes will include extended scans with the breath and finding safety in the edges of the body. This safe space you find within your own boundaries goes with you everywhere, you can access it anytime you feel pushed out of those boundaries. Register here for this week’s class.
ALSO! I have audio recordings available for sale! HOORAY! I’m still working on formatting and cleaning things up, but they are up & running and ready for downloads! I have one class that is available for just $3 – it is a great seated exploration of the center, finding the most efficient place for YOU in the moment to be upright.
“Nothing is more wonderful than the art of being free, but nothing is harder to learn how to use than freedom.” – Alexis de Tocqueville
The day after Election Day in the US, and I want to be positive. But sometimes my own nervous system highjacks me and I start to feel hopeless and scared. I am so ready for this election to be over. It seems to me that every one of us in the entire United States has had their nervous systems highjacked. It’s hard to act out of love and empathy when you feel like your life is being threatened. As a result of this fear, we make collectively bad decisions. It’s exhausting to have your nervous system on high alert – we’re always anticipating that metaphorical tiger to jump out at us. That exhaustion leads to even more stress, pain, and more highjacking. WE have the power to take back our nervous systems and act out of love, empathy, and INCLUSION. A highjacked nervous system DIVIDES and separates us from connection with each other. Can we please please please rise above, take a pause, and respond to each other with calm? We have a lot of healing to do, y’all. Let’s buckle up, and help others buckle up too. We can do this together – and only together.
I know I said we were going to do a Lower Back series starting in November, but I’m shifting that to even pre-basic Somatic movement. It will still help with lower back issues, however for November we’re going to be focusing on the nervous system, and how to reach a safe space that we can always return to when we feel like we’re tipping over into highjacked/exhausted/overwhelm brain.
I have a great class series coming up in January at Happy Body in Asheville. It’s one of my favorites: a 6-week Functional Somatics Series. Each week we will have an everyday movement as our topic (listed below). We’ll begin with an assessment of that movement, and then spend the class exploring how to improve that movement. We end each class returning back to that original movement, and see how it’s changed for us. I get really excited about these classes – it’s so much fun to see how everyone has changed after such simple and gentle movements. Below find more information on the series, and how to register.
6-Week Functional Somatics Series
Starting January 10, 2017
Week 1 Reaching to the Top Shelf
Week 2 Twisting to Look Behind Us
Week 3 Getting Up & Down Off the Floor
Week 4 Improved Walking
Week 5 Better Breathing
Week 6 Bending Over to Touch Your Toes
Happy Body, Biltmore Village
25 Reed St, Studio
$99 for the full series Register Here.
I finally got around to making some videos:
After much procrastination, I have started a YouTube channel with video talks and some basic movement explorations. Check that out here.
As always, I offer private sessions in my office at 25 Reed St in Biltmore Village, Asheville. If you’re in the Asheville area, I would love to meet you. More information about private sessions can be found here on my website.
Blessings to you and yours, and I look forward to seeing you next year.