I am often asked how I see and understand bodies and how to work with each persons unique needs in a classroom setting. And my approach has been and is just as unique as the individuals themselves.
First and foremost as a student in an open classroom, we as guides can only see whats in front of us. All to often what I see is students falling into old patterns of movement, shaping their bodies in ways that are not naturally supportive to their own structure, and falling into the easy spaces where little effort or awareness is being felt.
And this is where I can begin, with observation of how you are currently inhabiting your being from both a structural and emotional basis. It's all quite visible when you are truly stepping back to observe. Often times the person I'm observing has completely detached from their own experience. Perhaps for good reason or perhaps just unaware that they have left the building!
My approach is to bring students to the here and now so they can become aware of their own body and how they are currently seated within. We check in on all levels, physical, emotional, and mind states as to what is needed in that moment. From here, enters breath awareness. The breath is oh so telling! And the way we breathe can take us from 0 to 60, 60 to 0 or somewhere in between depending on the desired effect. And once breath has been established we can begin shape shifting.
As we begin what is perceived as the physical portion, we must first understand that it is not that simple. We are not all these different pieces and layers but each part directly affects another part of our being, and therefore it is really the whole being we are working with. However in relation to the movement of the physical body, my approach is to use a general sense of alignment or feeling sense as a way to guide students into being present in their bodies. What do you feel and where do you feel it? What that means is that we are not just talking abut how to cue and position the posture, but how to receive the cues from your experience so you can understand how to accommodate your own unique structure and needs. And this is what makes the practice super deep allowing an integrated approach for all the bodies within the body.
Many of us have experienced whats known as the domino effect in our bodies. Life's little reminders of our experiences signal us as aches and pains, Most of us ignore the little cranky remarks our bodies bring to us daily. And this can have a long slow drain of unaddressed compensatory patterns on the body. The best way to avoid this is to keep our body moving, our fascia juicy and hydrated, and maintain deep awareness of how we inhabit our being every day.
The more we care for our being and keep our tissues hydrated, the more we will fine tune our living experience in all its glory. Its nice to know where your body is in space, but also feel and sense a graceful full body orchestration of movement. This is a process and a practice we must attend to daily! So get on your mat and check in, let me know how it goes and if I can help!