In my last blog about letting the brakes off I mentioned that it is possible to change some of the unconscious programming which can limit movement and waste energy.
As Mary Bond Writes in her book The New Rules of Posture – our shape, how we hold ourselves, isn’t a fixed thing “posture is in fact, a response,” a response to “where am I and what is happening here?” So in order to let go of old and limiting habits we need to build new sense memories. “We need to keep coming back to the sense of ground and space.”
Over the coming weeks I will post some simple ways in which you can begin to bring new awareness to old patterns. Remember, though, very few habits, by their very nature can be modified over night but most, even very old ones, with a little practice can be changed in as little as a month using cues like these. I recommend that you try these awareness exercises at least a few times a day until they become almost second nature.
Sense memory Exercise 1 – Follow your heart
Before you take a step, before you even think about moving a muscle, allow yourself to pause for a moment. Say “hello” to your heart, then imagine that your heart is opening to the space in front of you and to something or someone in that space that you really love. When you have made this ‘heart’ connection, instead of letting your legs pull or push you forward, let your body follow the gentle river of your hearts desire. Notice how different this feels.
Follow your heart – explanation
To have a balanced posture when standing it is necessary for our three gravity centres to be in vertical alignment. The primary centre (GC1) is situated in the abdomen, just in front of the 3rd lumbar vertebrae. Imagine a place half way between the belly button and the skin of the back. The other two gravity centres should stack up in a straight line above this one. The next being (GC2) in the centre of the chest, about half way down the sternum and again half way between the front and the back of the body. The 3rd gravity centre (GC3) is in the centre of the cranium about level with the third eye. The three centres can go out of alignment in a number of ways.
The most common is for GC2 (the heart centre) to fall back behind the optimum line. Structurally this arrangement is characterised by an exaggerated lumbar curve, a forward tilting pelvis and a torso which slants backwards. in an effort to restore balance the neck is then slanted forward bringing head centre, GC3 forward of the other two centres.
Functionally, this posture can cause all sorts of problems but perhaps the most frequently seen are severe neck and back strain.
Emotionally there may be feelings of stagnation and difficulty going forward or just a general lack of connection.
The practice of leading with the heart will help to correct this structural and functional imbalance and may also evoke a more positive outlook and a richer, more satisfying engagement with life.