Mr. Foam Roller dropped a wisdom bomb on me. And here’s one thing I know about wisdom: it’s no static thing. It’s not a place we arrive. It’s dynamic, ever-changing, fluid. So here’s how the bomb dropped. Laying on this roller, head one end, tail the other, that’s how I routinely taught core stability…for years. Go ahead. Hop up. Just try keeping your balance sans support of hands and feet. You’ll quickly feel what I was up to. But over time I became frustrated with how you can kinda cheat your way through this technique. The big wobble of parallel roller work obscures a lot of subtlety. It began to feel like a total bypass of breath and the depth and delicacy of sensation. I was curious about stability subtleties so I completely dropped this practice.
Ditched it and spent twenty years investigating the back-story, how to induct core stability in the most softly discerning ways. Muted attunement deep inside. Fascinating for geeks, a bit boring for the rest of the world. A couple months ago, after two decades of abstention, on a whim, I hopped back on to feel what I could feel. Oh my gosh. The subtlety had been there all along. I just wasn’t fine-tuned enough to sense it. And this little story goes to the heart of how we land in wisdom bomb land.
First I needed to make the leap from ignorance to awareness. Frustration is a great indicator something needs to shift. I made the leap the day I ditched the roller. That move away from old habit toward the unknown propelled me into new learning realms. Books, classes, teachers…yes. Knowledge is important. But then I had to filter that new information through my own experience. Listening in, tracking, reflecting. Paying attention to how my own body, heart, mind responded, resisted, transformed. Lots of trial and error. The comprehension had to mesh with real life experience before understanding and integration could arise.
Worthy wisdom isn’t born overnight. In this case it took twenty years. Knowledge and experience had to marinate in the crucible of time. It’s still a total mystery what called me back to that old habit a couple months ago. But hop up I did and, in an instant, I felt everything I’d been missing back in 2000. The response of patients and students has been phenomenal. This moves stability out of the world of geek-dom and into the world of playful fun. Really. And the roller is actually a better hands on instructor than I can be…especially on Zoom. Articulating this practice continues to evolve and is a beautiful example of how dynamic true wisdom is. It is so not a static thing.
I’ve been teaching a maturing version of loose, long and strong for thirty years now. It was utterly fulfilling to usher 10 new students into the world of Essentials via the just completed series. Missed it? Want some roller hopping? It’s in the Video Library. Want some wisdom? Digest the knowledge encapsulated in those four classes; let it meet and inform your unique experience. After it marinates in the crucible of time, a big chunk of body wisdom will be yours. Want it tailored to fit? I just saw a patient this afternoon who just completed the series. Over the past month she’s been on her mat trying different pieces on. Today we made a cell phone video of the most important thirty minutes for her unique body. She is excited to come to Essentials this Friday for the first time. I know it is just the support she needs to stay motivated the rest of the week.
- Essentials 10-11:30 Friday: This week we complete our anatomical exploration of spine. Next week we begin a seven week journey through energetic spine, travelling the chakras. We roll, we tone, we stretch. We laugh, listen to music, commune. It’s good warm pleasure.
- Moving Outside 12:30-2:00 Thursday March 3, 10, 17: celebrate Spring in a big garden on the Sacramento River. Practice outdoors graced by earth and sun, sky and wind, feeling the lay of our unique home land. Co-teaching with Judy Tretheway, proprietess of this property. Judy and I go way back, two elders with many decades of embodied wisdom bombs—Qigong, 5Rhythms, orienting, forest bathing. Together we’ll guide this experience with dance, movement, connection and breath, moving with the great outdoors. Come feel.
- Sweat Your Prayers 10-noon EVERY Sunday: out on this same Sacramento River land. I’m either teaching or out there dancing. This community is incredibly welcoming. Get out in nature. It will do you so much good.
- Physical Therapy: my studio or Zoom in your room. The wisdom bombs created over fifty years fall easily in this fertile field. Bring whatever challenges you and together we’ll find our way through.
There’s so much that connects each of these offerings. But that piece— listening in, tracking, reflecting—the supported opportunity to do just that is at the bottom of it all. I’ll keep holding that piece for us. It is my offering. ❤️Bella