Authenticity - Be Moved
This was an introduction to a group movement session with a theme of the Authentic self. You may find it useful to orient yourself with the organs within the pelvic bowl, the respiratory centre and the Iliopsoas muscle which has a connection from the diaphragm (yes I said diaphragm) to the legs. You may also want to watch the YouTube video by Kaila June on the Bartenieff Fundamentals basic 6 prior to this.
During group movement sessions people sometimes say that they appreciate the pleasure of moving without the demand to attach to instruction. The anatomical focus for this session was the Psoas muscle and the connection of three diaphragms - the pelvic, the respiratory and the floor of the mouth. If we think about organs within these areas, the bladder, the lower part of the colon, the reproductive organs, the heart and the lungs, and at the floor of the mouth, the hyoids and tongue, we are looking at organs that are deep within. They convey a sense of the personal, of confidentiality, perhaps secrecy. There are structures in the pelvic bowl where things happen that we don’t readily talk about. Within the chest, the heart pounds when we are fearful, it feels full and open when we feel love. The breath is affected by our emotion. Our voice also, we may be 'dumbstruck' or we can choose to speak our mind or not. We can choose to speak or not, to speak the truth or not, to edit our thoughts with our voice.
Karin Gurtner, the founder of Art of Motion and Anatomy Trains, Slings Myofascial training associates the deep front line with Authenticity. But she associates the Superficial Back Line (SBL) with Courage. I found this confusing and had to get clarification on this when doing my Slings training. Our teacher Mumu talked about the word courage coming from the french word Coeur, meaning heart. The heart is very much enveloped in the deep front line (DFL). When we are supported in an upright stance through the SBL, we open up in the front line and get support from deep within from the DFL. If we open up with our back line, there is an element of vulnerability about it. Courage will always carry with it a sense of vulnerability. When we say I’m sorry, or I love you, or when we show our authentic self in movement we are making ourselves vulnerable - we may fear rejection, we may fear being ridiculed. And these fears may lie within - self rejection, the voice in our head that says you look silly. It takes courage to open ourselves up, despite these risks, because we want to show our true self.
So, when you explore your free flow movement practice, hold loosely in your mind the anatomy - the Psoas muscle, the diaphragms and the organs within the pelvic, respiratory and mouth areas. Hold loosely in your mind the movement sequences of the Bartenieff fundamentals - but don’t attach to these, use them as an anchor if you need to come into your conscious mind to get you moving but then let your mind have open attention to everything else, so that you can begin to be moved rather than doing. Be moved by what you sense in your body, be moved by the music or, if you prefer, move just beneath the music or without music so you can experience a lack of attachment to instruction (yes even the music can be an instruction of sorts) and then go deep into authenticity. Notice how your movement makes you feel in your mood. How does an emotion actually feel on a felt sense? Does embarrassment feel hot, or prickly? Does being in your head feel bound, blocking? Where do these feelings reside in your body? You will likely have different words, different experiences to someone else. Be explorative but gentle with yourself and be empowered by your courage. Be aware of and let go of the inner voice that tells you how to be or what you ‘should’ be doing. Maybe move just outside your comfort zone, and when I say this, I don’t mean the discomfort of contorting your body into a pretzel and risking injury, I mean moving outside your comfort zone in terms of how you express yourself, or in terms of the shapes you make, or how small or large you make yourself. Move in that place on the edge of security and sense how it feels to be there and then come back to a movement or gesture that feels nurturing and safe for you and when you feel the time is right go out and explore different movements again - be playful, be the 5-year-old again.
So now, if you want to move to music, put on your favourite playlist. Be gentle, go into open awareness, where you are open to whatever is and allow yourself to be moved and be authentic.