I have found myself enjoying the late evenings since the clock went forward last weekend, but I am not talking about getting more into the day. That’s what we were working with today. I am literally talking about finding the spring in your step as we let ourselves go forward. Or at least that was what the gentleman I was working with this morning rediscovered.
Many of us hold ourselves back. Yes, me too. That’s why I call my website Don’t Hold Back. It is a constant reminder to me Not to Hold my Back. So often I find people complaining of back pain, holding their backs. It’s what I did too. I blame chairs, but that’s another story.
One of the signs of this is where is the weight on your feet when standing. Your feet are touching the ground so you have a good place to refer. Often, we are standing in our heels as a habit and tightening all the muscles in the back of us, from the floor up; calves, hamstrings, low back, neck.
When we let ourselves find a less rigid way to stand in balance, our weight shifts more over our ankles and whole feet. Can you find your toes connect more to the ground, without grabbing? Now the back muscles and those of the legs can let go or begin to feel safe to do so.
This morning my gentleman literally found the “spring in his step” as he found balance in his forward, and up.
It is very easy to think ankles and feet when we are trying to change the weight we have recognised in our feet, from heels to a better distribution throughout the foot. Then we think down. However up and forward are our pain free destiny.
Try this. Take the information from your feet and then check in all along your body as you take you attention upwards, noticing where tension and holding patterns are. When you get to the head, offer yourself the thought that your neck is free and your head is floating up. Your whole head now, so that the crown leads. Not your chin up so that your eyes look up and your face tilts your head back onto your spine. Let your eyes see a great big horizon as you free your neck and whole spine, as your head floats up,
Play with UP.
And then when you feel ready play with forward. Imagine your face is heavier than the back of your head. Think about your nose being heavy. Just imagine. Don’t drop your face and head down. Just imagine a small weight shift so that your head is now balancing slightly forward of where you are used to. You are playing with thinking up and taking your self a tiny bit forward.
Play with FORWARD. This is of course the direction of your face and movement. It's generally the direction you travel in.
Now check your feet again. Is the weight more distributed through your whole foot? Are the joints of your legs less held – ankles, knees, hips. Do you feel more of the front of your foot and the toes? Are the muscles of your legs softer? Is your back still in the same amount of pain or tension?
These are all very small changes. Very subtle. In the beginning you will notice you do it more than think it so keep refining to lighten your work load. Do less and less muscle work, and more subtle and light swaying.
When you come more forward you will notice the spring in your step as the momentum takes you over your toes. My gentleman exclaimed “Spring Forward!” when I asked him what notes he would like me to make to help him remember the practice. How timely, I thought.
Play with it for yourself. Don’t hold on to the new place you find. Throw it away and play with it again. The main thing is to STOP Holding YOUR Back. Standing is an activity, after all. A gentle lively subtle activity of balancing, rather than holding yourself up and together. Roll onto the front of your feet and Spring Forward.
Let me know how you get on.
Thanks Pat for a lovely light and springy lesson.
If want to put a spring in your step, or you need help stopping holding your back, join the Get to Know Your Body Better class or contact me firstname.lastname@example.org for private lessons.
Thanks to the internet for photos
I am Fiona and I am exploring themes of meeting resistances and allowing ways through. The constant weeding, recognising the stuff that's in the way to live easier.