I propose that it is time to have a new conversation about our bodies. A approach that is so simple, it is radical. I propose that we do not try to work on our bodies. That in fact what gets in the way of good body work is when we try.
BodyRecode is a method of waking up and invigorating the body, not just what we typically use, but all of the body, bringing our whole organism online for every task.
Our bodies do many, many tasks that run the gamut from sitting, walking, running, swimming, lifting a cup to driving a car. Everything we do is a task, an action. We may have different labels for different actions, but for the body they are all the same task. A series of changing fulcrums, leverages, tempos and force variability — these elements underline what movement is from the body’s perspective.
In my work, I’ve found that a poorly trained body is generally overworking in the performance of any task, causing persistent exhaustion, chronic misalignment, ongoing injuries, and an ever-increasing wear and tear.
We have been taught to control and dominate our bodies. This aggressive approach is at the root of so many problems we see today-chronic pain and illnesses with baffling, mysterious symptoms. This effort based approach to living in the body is seen in the general population and also with Athletes and even Yoga practitioners. It does not need to be this way.
The BodyRecode method teaches us to pay attention to what our bodies are actually doing. Our bodies’ internal response to movement is invisible to most people, in part, because of our complete familiarity with our selves. We live in this body 24/7 and as a result have a very casual relationship to it. We no longer see it or hear it because of this second to second familiarity. Typically we only see the external execution of movement, not what happens inside. We do not sense the internal actions that are actually the basis for movement – we only see and work on the movement itself not on the on the process
SO WHAT DOES THIS MEAN
It means that when we understand how to be in touch with what our bodies are doing, to listen to what our bodies are telling us, then we can build a sustainable foundation of physical awareness. When we are aware of our body it functions more efficiently and more coherently
BodyRecode begins by recognizing that we never learned the most basic skills needed to truly listen to and understand what our bodies are trying to communicate to us. As a result, our bodies are not able to be responsive and naturally spontaneous. Our body mind relationship does not allow our bodies to function at their best, to self-regulate, to adapt to our ever-changing lives, to heal when injured or ill, and, above all, to thrive.
BodyRecode teaches how to deepen your perspective so one can approach the body at a fundamental level, where you are the student and the body is the teacher, learning to shift from an external perception to an internal one. The process is to learn to see and feel movement from the inside rather than judge its external execution, how it may appear from the outside.
When we begin to deepen our understanding of how it is to be in the continuous communication stream of the body. We begin to sense and feel the reality that the whole body is the platform for movement. By focusing on our underlying habitual postural and movement coordination, we can begin to learn how to align and integrate our body systems and develop a more skillful relationship to gravity.
A few words about ‘Gravity’ – it is an important primary concept to understand in relationship to our body. Our bodies evolved in direct response to the earth’s specific gravitational field. The degree to which your body is not gravitationally coherent is the degree to which the body is straining and overworking. Most people stand too far back in their bodies. They use the relatively inarticulate big thigh and back muscles to hold the body up. Not relying on the subtle muscle systems of the abdominals, hamstrings and inner adductors to support the body’s carriage through space. Gravity in body terms is weight—the force of our weight as it travels through the body to the Earth. When the right muscles support the body then everything about us flows and is more responsive. Aging takes place in the everyday efforts of the body. If it is out of tune it will break down faster and exhibit all kinds of symptoms. Just like a car, if its systems are out of tune, then it is over working and in time will tear itself to bits.
When you move with effort, you are overworking; when you move with ease, you are just moving
When you pay attention to what is not moving, you will become aware of what is out of balance in your body.
When you move and everything in the body moves at the same time, you will develop fluidity and grace.
When you practice moving with a slow, smooth, even pace, you will develop a quick responsiveness in your muscles.
When you practice moving your body with softness and ease, you will develop a supple powerful body.
When you get out of the way of your breathing and let the body do it, you will develop a deep stamina and recover quickly from exertion.
When standing still or when moving, pay attention to how you are doing, what you are doing, you will learn to be organized in how your body functions.
When you pay attention to how your weight travels from your head through the body to your feet, you will develop effortless balance and coordination.
When you work on the body in a mindful way, it will serve as a template for how your body functions during the 24/7
When you are aware that the main wear and tear on the body is determined by the degree to which the body is available to move freely or no, then the need for mindfulness in everyday movement becomes apparent.
ORIGIN OF METHOD
I have clarified and developed these very simple principles over the course of decades of training and working as a professional dancer and choreographer, studying and practicing various wellness traditions, and observing people around me as they seemed to fight against their own bodies. And I came to realize that in fact most of us receive very little real information about how our bodies work. A gym teacher, a well-meaning parent, or a friend or colleague may give us some information. Doctors, physical therapists, and body workers, despite their in-depth training, also perpetuate a paradigm that tells us we should struggle against our bodies. These lessons form the basis of what we think, wish, and what we should be feeling physically. However this way of thinking does not actually help us thrive in a loving long term relationship with our own body.
We need authentic, thoughtful, specific, and targeted information about how to develop skilful body/mind awareness.
The concepts, the information in BodyRecode develops a connection with the body that will enable our bodies to skillfully and gracefully navigate the deep waters of a long life.