Friday, July 14, 2017

Support precedes Movement: Reflection for week 8

My roommate has expressed repeated interest in having me guide her in a yoga practice, and I noticed how clearly she was looking for a kind of work-out activity on this particular morning, rather than the exploratory questioning place I've been moving from these past weeks. So I gave her shapes. For some reason I was called in my body to move with her, and I'm not sure if I was trying to provide support by making it so she wasn't practicing alone, or if I was exploring what I felt I needed to be supported in each of the poses I took us through, to have a clearer sense of what I believed about them. Later when we chatted about it, she mentioned resonating with a moment when I touched her feet and hand as I talked about how they were in supportive communication with the ground - and I continue to notice moments where a certain kind of directed touch that helps them to know something about themselves has been really appreciated by my students. I have an inkling about a vocabulary building, an overlap between the study I've done and the awareness in my fingertips, like a potential divining rod for pathways, currents of force.

My peer that I practiced with has mentioned to me on multiple occasions being disconnected from her body, or grossly unaware of it. It felt kind of huge and superfluous to talk about shapes, so I went back to a place I know - we sat and I touched, said hello to and named every bone in her body I could remember (on her right side, I told her the other side was up to her), starting from her fingertips inward, down the parts of the vertebrae I could access, and then from her toes up. We wiggled joints and tried to figure out which ways bones spin in their sockets and she talked about what she felt and what she didn't. Afterwards I had her do some familiar movements, take a flow etc. With that information, of what both she and I noticed, we unearthed some interesting connections between unmoving parts and physical hang ups transitioning between certain tricky poses. We talked about how to find the kind of room or time for moments of personal body exploration in an hour class with a bunch of bodies in various states of awareness - and an hour and a half after I started, I finally came to a place where I might be able to transmute what I've been learning the past 2/3 years into something useful, something that can come out of me in a potentially helpful way.

These two experiences really asked things from me that seem like they live on opposite ends of the spectrum, but maybe one is the warp, and the other is the woof, and I need to figure out some other crucial things - the shape of the loom, the colors of the threads, the pattern I'm looking to weave.


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