Tuesday, August 4, 2009
How do you deal with gravity?
Ideally, when we lie down and rest, we completely surrender to gravity, letting our muscles relax. And when we are upright, the curves of our spine and the deep muscles that attach to our spines keep us erect and balanced.
Gravity is our ally.
The problem comes when our postural habits create an alignment that doesn't work with the force of gravity, but instead fights it. The natural curves in our spine are beautifully designed with balance in mind. The whole system- the skeletal structure, the curves of the spine, the pull of the muscles that attach, keep us upright like a tent pole supported by the tension of guy wires.
But when we over exaggerate the curves, we throw off that natural balance. Muscles that were not meant to be postural are recruited to help hold us up. For instance, our head should be balanced nicely on top of our spines, but for many of us our head is held forward so we rely on our musculature to hold it up. The muscles at the back of the neck end up acting like straps to hold the weight of the head.
We are holding up the weight of our heads. No wonder we are in pain!
I offer you this- an opportunity to free yourself from holding up the weight of your head. Just a few words, an image to embody.
Take a moment to stand up, feet a comfortable distance apart. Feel the connection between the bottom of your feet and the earth. Feel gravity as support that grounds and connects you to the earth. Imagine your feet as roots of a tree. Feel that grounding travel up your legs, up your spine and out the top of your head. Feel your head floating upward like branches reaching for the sky.
Harmony with gravity enables that medium to become a supporting and energizing factor. As the fish is supported and lifted by the water, so we as human can be supported and lifted by gravity. -Ida Rolf
Wishing you balance,