Achieve Less Pain and Greater Ease with Fluidity
Most of us understand that moving with good alignment and form is important to avoid injury and strains. When we exercise with a focus on form we also effectively build strength, increase flexibility, and balance. Most of us are not aware, however, that it’s not only the musculoskeletal system doing the work for good alignment and strain-free movement. In this blog, we will uncover the support system that the organs, spine, and the body as a whole has at its disposal to offer greater ease and stability in everyday movements.
A Lesson in Support: It Starts from Within
Our body is composed mostly of fluid.
We were fluid before our bones were formed.
Our bones were formed on a blueprint of fluid patterns.
As we get older, these patterns are stored in the soft inner body.
Accessing these resources is critical to support the muscles, bones, and prevent injury.
Throughout various embodiment practices, we study the early embryological movement patterns that our bodies formed within the womb. For instance in yoga class, the cues your yoga teacher gives are bringing awareness to these fluid patterns – the way the bones spiral into place, the way the brain and head grow from the roots of the heart, how the digestive tract gives incredible support for the spine. These are all intriguing inquiries that we get to explore every time we move, on and off the yoga mat, if you can tap into your fluid patterns.
What are the Fluid Patterns?
The fluid patterns are the first patterns nature gave us while in the womb. They correspond to our senses, internally referenced, or simply existing in space. Think of your body floating in a pool – there are things your body is doing to buoy you up but that effort is subtle. Contrastingly, musculoskeletal movements or “land-based” patterns are an external reference, what we are “doing” in space. Think of yourself walking – you feel the earth with your feet, the pumping of your arms. Our world and modern culture are obsessed with land-based, external patterns – which over time has suppressed our natural fluid state of being. In my weekly yoga classes, students practice the fine-tuned art of awakening fluid patterns.
In one of my recent Yoga Fundamentals class, I asked students to describe the differences they felt when moving only with the support of the muscles and bones, versus with an awareness of the digestive tract and soft inner body. The answers were that moving with the fluid patterns was easier and more supported, with less struggle and strain.
The Importance of Balancing Fluid and Land-Based Patterns
By tapping into the subtle fluid patterns you were born with you can learn to calm the mind easily, inhabit the body more fully and completely, and move and breathe with more ease. Accessing these patterns and organ support in yoga practice will engage the support of the breath and the soft, inner body. This, in turn, offers for more balanced walking and externally referenced actions.
Being in dynamic balance with internal reference and external sensing together while in motion is an ideal way of moving and being in our bodies, in our yoga practice, and in daily life in relationship with self and other. In my new movement series, The Fluid Nature of Form, we aim to achieve this balance by practicing both in the water and on land. The first week we will discover fluid movement with our feet on the earth, the next week we meet to experience fluid weightlessness in the pool, and the final week brings those lessons back on the land. The result of practicing with fluidity is a longer, taller spine, better posture, and greater ease in maintaining this optimal posture, especially during transition movements.
To Sum it Up: The Body is a Miraculous Thing.
Learn about accessing fluid patterns to encourage ease of movement, breath, and explore developmental movement patterns that support the body in Summer’s 3-part series. One of the classes will take you into the pool, for a deeper experience of the fluid systems and the breath movements that support you!
Summer Greenlees has been teaching yoga and performing bodywork for 20 years and works with clients of all ages and fitness levels, utilizing a holistic approach that supports a healthy lifestyle and incorporates yoga and massage for total wellness. Summer’s yoga work is based on a somatic approach, strongly inspired by her Yoga teacher, Donna Farhi. Summer specializes in movement re-patterning for reducing strain and tension in the body during everyday movements, as well as in the client’s fitness practice. Summer aspires to help clients find their own way of moving in a supportive and nurturing environment.
In addition to her series and workshops, Summer teaches two classes on the 360 weekly class schedule – Thursday evening Yoga Fundamentals class and Yoga Shred on Saturday mornings that blends yoga and HIIT in one invigorating class!