Back deck the other night, completely feeling my place on this planet, aligned between myriad stars blinking away up there and molten center of earth deep below. We folks in teaching-land love to throw concepts like “grounded” and “centered” out there as instruction platform. Here is what I felt that night: there is simply no way you can think or understand your way into the physical sensation of being grounded. Let alone the metaphorical poetic meaning of it. And centered? This is not something you wrap your head around and “get”. It’s energetic meaning emerges from the felt physical sense of our 24/7 conversation with gravity. Our pull to the center of the earth has to be acknowledged and utterly experienced if we want a clue about these high falutin’ concepts we bandy about. Divine alignment? Perhaps it is a somatic experience before it becomes an esoteric one.
Stand up a moment to feel feet on ground; bring equal weight to ball and heel. Feel balanced front to back around the central line running through your middle. This axis meets the earth surface beneath you like an arrow pointed to the center of this ball on which we spin around the universe. Gently bring your weight back on heels and try to balance. Feel the effort it takes to negotiate this off-center relationship with gravity. Now you have a sense of what we are (mostly) unconsciously up against through our waking day.
That central axis runs through what I’ve been calling the four B’s: base, bowl (of the pelvis), basket (of the heart—rib cage), ball (of the head). Our posture, the way we hold ourselves, is a product of our relationship (or lack of one) with gravity. When we stack base, bowl, basket and ball, we have a happy partnership with this potent force. Standing, sitting, moving actually have potential for a graceful effortlessness. We all have delightful, almost mysterious moments of lightness and ease. And we all have moments of collapse, when it feels like we’re slogging through mud.
If we had been consciously stacking those 4 B’s since day one, all would be well. But injuries and habits and genetics have had their way with us by now. Some of us are just unaware, sinking into “vulture-asana” as we hunch over our devices and steering wheels. Aware or not, many of us do not have the freedom to optimally stack those bones relative to gravity even if we wanted to. The daily grind has created tightness in connective tissue that pulls us out of alignment, out of a healthy alliance with gravity. We also have some muscles that are weak, resulting in collapse. As much as we would like to align, it takes more effort than we can muster.
For this entire past year I have been a re-negotiating with gravity. How do I gently invite my right pelvis, lumbar spine and organs to live a bit more forward and turned toward left? How do I knit my left ribs as I turn left lung to the right, softly expanding right lung? When I find myself resting on my right foot, left waist collapsed, can I come back to my central axis? It is a persistent conversation AND it is supported by very specific almost every day self-care. There would be no hope for this conversation without this “get down there and do it, Bella” support.
O.K. You know where I’m going with this. Loose, Long and Strong is where the specificity comes in to address the daily grind dysfunction. I can see you one-on-one to figure out the most effective fifteen minutes to support the 4 B’s lining up (and create a home video just for you). AND/OR on Saturday afternoons Oct 15 & 29 and Nov 12 you can come figure it out in community…
We have three hours carved out each session to dial in:
1) Loose: where am I tight? Rollers & balls, exploring side-to-side differences, releasing.
2) Strong: where am I weak? Subtle core power, continued investigation of asymmetry.
3) Long: how do I align? Postural stability in relation to gravity, fluid stretching, yin shapes.
And here’s what so brand spanking new and exciting. Upon completion of each three hour session you have access to a 20 minute private YouTube video empowering you to keep on keeping on at home. That would be the point. You can attend all three sessions (such a deal) or any one session. Here’s the link to enroll.
Imagine for just a moment standing on the moon or rather hovering above it’s surface. No doubt there would be other worries, but we just would not have to deal with how to be loose, long and strong so that we can be in a fruitful and life supporting partnership with gravity. It’s all in divine alignment.
May the force be with you.