My recent journey to Savannah was life affirming and brought me back to the importance of being present to myself. Being cramped in a small compact airplane and the lingering contracting and constricting effects it had on my physical self led me to this movement exploration that I used to recuperate from the travel.
The vertical dimension and plane provides us with information and experiences of being present to ourselves. Creating internal and external support by exploring the concavity and convexity of your torso supports stretching and releasing of tension when one is kept in a particular position for any reason such as sitting in a plane or at a desk.
Feeling the concavity and convexity of your body
Building on previous explorations in Shape Flow breathing, Stand in a door-frame – inhale to lengthen and widen the left side of your body. Exhale to shorten and narrow the left side of your body. Inhale to lengthen and widen the right side of your body. Exhale to shorten and narrow the right side of your body.
Make the movement bigger
Inhale to lengthen and widen the left side of your body. Take your left hand over your head and lean towards the left side of the door-frame. Your torso will make a convex shape on the left side and a concave shape on the right side.
On your next exhale notice the concaving quality of your body on the left as you shorten and narrow to the left side of the door-frame. You may notice that the right side of your body now convexes (anatomically, this action is known as lateral flexion of your spine).
Increasing the feeling of Convexity
Inhale and reach your left arm to the right high corner of the door-frame. Do you notice the increasing of the convexity in your torso? Try the lengthening and widening support to the right as you reach with your right hand for the left high corner of the door-frame. Notice the effect on the spaces between your ribs. Notice the effect on the space between your ribs and your hips.
Repeat this movement several times from the left to the right. Focus on how your breath changes your torso, and then notice how your reach into space creates clarity in your movement. You may also have begun to step from side to side, shifting your weight from one foot to the other.
Increasing the feeling of Concavity
Shift your attention to the shortening and narrowing of your torso as you exhale and reach to the side and low corners of the door-frame. Your torso will concave on the left side as you take your left hand to the left and low corner of the door-frame. Play with the concavity to the right as you exhale and reach for the right low corner of your door-frame.
By reaching in your door-frame you may also notice a wide and flat feeling throughout your body. Years ago I practiced this sequence facing a partner and we both noticed what a real “waist trimmer and toner” this experience was. I do this to really feel expansive in the sides of my body. This awareness can also improve your Golf swing!
This exploration can be done sitting in a chair at your desk. It can be functional – reaching for a book on a shelf or leaning down to pick up a piece of paper. It can be recuperative and expressive – stretching up or down to take you out of your forward and backward computer dominated world.
You have created breath and shape support for your movement into space. Clarity in space creates support for your moving process. By playing with the shape of your breath and body moving into space you re-create relationships with yourself and your environment so you can feel more fully involved and alive in your daily life. Go on give it a try, noticing the shape of you changes your relationship with yourself.