Welcome to the
Movement Matters page
Alignment, Ease and Fluidity of Movement
From the walking at the beginning of class to the floor work, to the standing work at the end of class, the workshop aims to develop our proprioception or Body/Movement Awareness in a very direct way, by asking us to simply notice with a sense of detail.
“If we attempt to carry out an action with awareness- that is to follow it in detail- we soon discover that even the simplest and common of actions, such as getting up from a chair, is a mystery and we have no idea at all of how it is done.”
Integration, Range and Articulation within Patterns, Choices and Improvisation
The class works with overarching principles from physiological training studies and empirical research on the structuring of a movement class with the least amount of injury. The class recognises that approaches, methods and techniques sometimes share principles, and sometimes differ in ways. Questions can emerge, as well as, recognising options. Alongside this, understanding individual structural differences, as part of the conversation, is an essential tool for learning.
If we have time and a framework in a movement class to ask questions about how we choose to approach movement, and the process that led us to make certain movement choices, within a specified framework or vocabulary, eventually we can become our own teacher as part of the learning process. While stability and flexibility are aspects of movement, without vitality, static, from without, concepts about correct shapes, or holding ourselves in a posture do not create a full picture of movement. As our bodies are animate, and this is not what happens in everyday life. Most people, who are able to do so, move in day to day life. We put on our clothes, walk down stairs, do gardening or paint houses etc..etc. We sit on chairs at desks and stand up to walk, hopefully, with ease and joy, as we want to continue later in life.
In terms of the body, how we approach, whatever it is we do, is part of the outcome or result. Working on “how” we approach movement- our focus and intention- and the ability to focus on our bodies with subtle-detail opens up possibilities for understanding our body-movement more. As well it opens up an important part of the learning process, which is to identify our habits and to improve our choices, developmentally. Everyones body is very different, and often corrections from the perspective of form alone can be reductive in terms of movement feedback. What our bodies actually do from day to day is they shift from movement to movement, and in culture it is in dialogue with our specific surroundings. All movement is where we need to be able ask questions about how we move, and that is the process that we are working to facilitate, being able to improvise and stay awake in choice, not holding, but be dynamic and responsive.
Somatic Movement Approaches are a key part in continuing to move efficiently and effectively through life. It helps keep the Body organised with more symmetry, fluidity, and awareness of body structure and it’s intrinsic co-ordination and patterning. Moving sequentially is a huge part of a holistic movement approach. This is part of supporting a mobile fascia, so the articulation of each joint in the body within its normal movement function, happens, especially in the spine. Patterning - co-ordination - the detail of understanding where we start a movement- how it moves through the body to then be able to create a form or shape. Rather than getting into a posture or shape and checking that the form “looks” okay. As repeating more complex patterns that require a composite of various righting reactions, equilibrium responses, reflexes and development patterns, when the more simple patterns are uncoordinated, will not result in coordinated or efficient more complex composite patterns.
Below are some specific examples of issues covered in class, alongside a bit of rationale and context.
Also see Somatic Movement Education History PDF by clicking on the link.
Learning about Body-Theory is always useful in any body/movement/posture study, so we’ve included some references, for further reading, reflection and research.
Flexing and extending the spine. Are the flexors and the extensors the prime movers or the antagonists and when do they change from one to the other.
"1. Agonists or prime movers, effect the required movement of the bone(s)
2. Antagonists lengthen to allow the movement of the bone or bones. Since practically every muscle acting on a bony lever is matched by muscle which moves the bone in the opposite direction, muscles may be either agonists or antagonists depending on the direction of movement"
Human Movement Potential
"The object in exploring a fuller range of spinal flexion is to learn what it feels like to reduce the contraction of the extensors"
The Potent Self
An introduction to moving focused on developmental patterns. How can we utilise developmental movement patterns to create, awareness, efficiency and clarity in movement.
“The developmental process establishes the basic patterns of all our movement."
"Development is not a linear process but occurs in overlapping waves with each stage containing elements of all the others. Because each previous stage underlies and supports each successive stage, any incomplete development or skipping of any stage leads to percpetual/movement problems. By returning to these basic patterns, we can repattern our responses and establish more efficient nervous pathways to support our movement"
Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen
Sensing, Feeling and Action
An introduction to Alignment through Imagery
How can imagery support our Alignment. What is the intrinsic-role of the nervous system.
“Only by changing the co-ordination of muscles toward patterns of balanced action around, and close to the joints of fulcrums of Class 1 levers of the framework, can the structure simultaneously be brought into better alignment and increased conformity with principles of mechanical balance.”
“The application of imagined movement as a teaching method departs from volitional techniques by emphasising change in the sub cortically controlled neuromuscular co-ordination.”
“Concentration on the image of movement will let the central nervous system choose the most efficient neuromuscular co-ordination for it’s performance, namely, the innate reflexes and feedback mechanisms.”
Human Movement Potential