Does Your Mind Know Where Your Body Is?

Does Your Mind Know Where Your Body Is?

Does Your Mind Know Where Your Body Is?

 This is not just about me having judgement about another in my class, but how my reflection from them also informs me about where I am in that moment. When I notice a particular aspect of their posture or movement, I use that to reflect back onto how I am moving or how my posture at that point is experienced. If their arm is moving in a way that doesn't fit with what I think I am describing for them to do, I look at my arm, I feel my arm, how it moves, and check in on whether or not they are mirroring what I'm doing, or are they simply not able to translate what they hear (and they might be hearing my instructions precisely), but because of how they are disconnected from their body and their ability to experience their body more effectively than they are.

Now of course as a teacher I am first and foremost thinking that something in my delivery is not translating for them. So I adjust my approach, I change my language and try to find a way of describing this in language that works for them. I will change my physical emphasis and break down the move into smaller or easier parts. I will turn around and give them another angle to observe from. As a last resort and when it seems they are off in a slightly dreamy space and not really paying attention, I will say their name and ask them to pay closer attention to as specific aspect. If they still don't seem to be able to translate the instruction into a more fluid movement, then that is the point where for that day I will let it rest. Their neural connection to co-ordinate that movement from what they think to what they feel is not going to shift that right now. The needs of the group then override the need in me to try and solve this dilemma any further on that occasion.  

I will always check in with the whole class as I go along. Are those who have been before also struggling with their practice, or are they reflecting something closer to what I think I am demonstrating. If the whole class is doing the same as the individual who seems to be so out of sync, then I have to question more closely what I am saying and showing in my form. If the first timer is the only one reflecting that particular disfunction then I can feel ok about how I'm instructing.

I know from my kinesiology and Bowen technique work that sometimes it is better to leave the body/mind time to process the information. To push on trying to correct here is only going to create a confusion that will confound the movement even further.

But it always has me checking how I am doing and learning more about myself and my own practice. Often hints and tips that I relate to the class will come from my own awareness and experience of my own posture and movement. When I become aware of how my breathing could flow more easily, I'll comment to the class about allowing their breathing to flow. When I feel my shoulders drop that little bit extra, I'll suggest the class check their shoulders.

It never ceases to amaze me how people have become disconnected from their bodies and how they has affected their shape and form. How it has affected the way they use their body and how it has limited it and how they express their experience of life. 

It is also a reminder and reaffirmation that we all come from where we come from. We all start from where we start from. And there is no one who can't find a deeper and more enriching experience of themselves and the world if they are willing to observe and adjust how they hold themselves and how they choose to move.

 

chi kung illustration

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