Notes from class: Spinal Freedom

It is as easy to forget ourselves as it is easy to wake up.

Here are a progression of work to wake up our shoulders hips and spine and bring about greater freedom and health in movement and in thought.

Let your breath lead the movement in both tempo and depth.

  1. Start standing with your legs under your hips. Ease your knees and ankles and move one hip forward and one back and reverse it. Move one hip up and the other down and reverse it. Now combine the movements so the center of your hips where the spine rests, stays in place and your hips form following circles in place. Make sure you are moving your hips instead of pushing the ground with your feet.
  2. Stand and raise one shoulder up as you relax the other one down and reverse it. Move one shoulder forward and the other back and reverse it. Now combine the two into two circles moving one after the other and note the change in tension in the muscles that wrap the spine and in the neck.
  3. Have a partner press their hands or fists at the sides of your spine where your ribs meet. Release tension in your spinal muscles to move with the pressure and once arched, arch back and push the contact back with the rounding of your back. Repeat at various location on your spine and have fun with direction and location.
  4. Turn to face your partner and repeat the work with the fists on the bottom ribs center and then at free play.
  5. Walk freely and have your partner try to wrap their arms around your neck. Move from the shoulder, then hip, then spine to avoid being entangles but maintain the contact and return the favor. Make sure you see all around you instead of focusing outside of yourself.
  6. Stand a step away from each other and push each others legs with yours. Move to maintain contact but avoid increasing tension by relaxing the opposing hip to the contacted leg and ease the movement into a few steps to avoid getting stuck into a pinball state of mind.
  7. Walk with your partner behind you. Turn to them at will and have them push you continuously with all limbs while moving toward you and through where you are. Allow their every move by relaxing your frame as we have done so far but stay in contact and blend into their movement.