Notes from one class – tension

Each class we compose a progression according to the needs of the students at that moment. Here is an example of one lesson. Have fun.

  1. Tension pump – in order to truly understand the ladder of tension we operate on and to avoid getting blindsided by tension we do not willingly acknowledge, we do the tension pump: Keep one fixed posture and breathe continuously. Choose a body part and tense it on the inhale. Keep the tension and on the next inhale increase the tension and again and again until there is nowhere to go tension wise. Release on the tension built on the next exhale and shake your body to avoid inner buildup. Go over the body using this method and gain deeper understanding of your tension ladder. Without this, you will always have a blindside where you are not aware.
  2. Drawing with tension – in order to move ourselves under pressure and resistance we must know we can move with various levels of tension and from different places within ourselves. Tense your arm from your shoulder to your fingertips. Draw numbers 1-10 or shapes while your arm is tense and focus on breathing and keeping your eyes free. Repeat the process with a tense body and relaxed arm and note how one body part radiates to another and how to breathe and move through it. Continue to tensing just your hand and forearm and draw the same shapes with the emphasis to move the forearm fully even when tense. Finish with tensing the wrist and hand and drawing the same shapes with just the tensed parts. This will allow you to articulate and make choices under tension instead of being reactive.
  3. Shake hands with tension – Shake hands with your partner and feel where they are comfortable and where they are not. Move your body and arm together to illuminate these areas or directions for your partner by binding them in twists, turns and bends. Your partner will work to maintain movement freedom by keeping their awareness in their breath and moving with the contact instead of following it. Continue to keeping your arms tense while you repeat the interaction and once this is done progress to dual tension. The final stage of this game is to tense and release in intervals where you tense for a few breaths and release for the same. This gives you the ridge between brace and flow to travel and become friends with.
  4. Tension with horizons – Stand and have your partner place their palm on the top of your head. Turn in place in both direction letting your eyes see what your movement places in front of you. Repeat the movement with your partner pushing down from time to time and you keep turning while managing the pressure from above with your entire body. Repeat the movement with your partner Using their other hand to push and pull on your body and you manage the direction and pressure as you continue to turn in place. This movement allows for release of event horizon fixation and keeping your mind and body within the movement you want instead of being reactive.
  5. Walking tension off – Stand an arm away from your partner who is facing you. Place your hands on their shoulders and push forward. Have your partner give ground under control focusing on framing the tension dynamically throughout the body. This means to move the shoulders from the toes and keep yourself in both your legs during each step. Continue to moving with this resistance back and forth and facing forward and back and sideways. Awareness from head to toe will remove any weak links in your chain of thought and movement.

Please share your thoughts and requests with me. Together we grow.

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Sharon Friedman

Student and teacher of movement and Martial art. Husband and Father. I can rebuild you, I have the technology :)