Sunday, 15 December 2013

It starts with the knees....

When practising movements in Tai Chi and when moving in an Alexander Technique lesson one is told that bending the knee helps a person move more easily, stay balanced and avoid tension developing in other areas of the body.  I can only refer to those two as they, along with yoga are processes I'm most familiar with - but I'm sure this idea is also being taught to pupils of other disciplines.
When we hold ourselves tightly and push our way through the day we risk missing important clues from our own intuitive bodymind. Tightly fixed on getting to the end of our day - blinkers on - a tight narrow view as the clock ticks - what will your body have to do to get you to pay attention to the bigger picture?
Something as simple as a bend in the knee may seem too small a detail to bother paying much attention to - but I believe it's small things like this that make a huge difference to our ability to flow easily while also heightening our ability to be present here and now.  When we do that we are giving ourselves the opportunity to witness that creative "nudge", or follow through with that idea that seemed to spontaneously leap into our head regarding a kind thing we could do for our neighbour. Those thoughts, feelings and ideas are there for the taking and will present themselves easily whenever we soften that tight grip we're holding.
So, today as you move, think about unlocking your knees, your skeleton and muscles already know how to keep you upright without you thinking about tensing and tightening your body!
Bend your knees and enjoy letting go of being that active, critical tenser, and instead feel yourself becoming a mindful, yet passive witness to all that you are.
"You translate everything, whether physical, mental or spiritual, into muscular tension." - F.M Alexander
"Practise non-doing, and everything will fall into place." - Lao-tzu

1 comment:

  1. It's very true and a very good point. As a practitioner of both yoga and a few other disciplines that advocate this, let me point out a couple of things: even Swing Dancing has to have supple and 'bouncy' knees that allow you to move in tandem with your partner; additionally I had a French Horn professor at music college who used to teach me that playing with a bounce is like having soft knees and a spring in your step. He was so right and this whole philosophy has a million applications.