In the first three sessions of this series of four 45 minute sessions, we focus on each of the aspects that make us who we are – Bones, Flesh and Sinews – and then bring them all together in the last session, so that we can really step out into Spring with a spring in our step.
Session 1 – BONES
In this session we contact our real core, provided by our skeleton. Bones are very much alive, not at all dry and brittle, and we do movements that help us to get in touch with the vitality of our bones and experience how this part of us supports and motivates us from inside.
For this session you will need your mat/floor space, a firm cushion to sit on, and a sound-proofed room! Only joking about the room – but you will be making some sounds so perhaps warn those living with you!
Session 2 – FLESH
In this session, we get in touch with all the parts of us that form our flesh. We start with the muscles on our surface that give us our shape and posture, helping them to find their natural tone, neither too tight nor too slack!
We also have our internal organs that fill us from deep INSIDE and give us a wonderful internal substance and sense of self. The internal organs are like the stuffing inside us, and when they are functioning well and full of energy the muscles, a more superficial part of us, can relax onto their support. However, when we lack the support from our internal organs the surrounding muscles have to compensate by doing the supporting instead, and this often leads to habitually tense areas. The problem in this instance is not the fault of the muscles, who are merely stepping in, but with the organ underneath. Attention needs to be given to the internal organ to help it regain its fullness and tone. We will be using breath and movement to bring our awareness into these very vital parts of us.
You will need your mat/floor space, a cushion to sit on and one to place behind your knees if kneeling is difficult.
Session 3 – SINEWS
When we talk about Sinews, we are talking about all the parts that bind us together. Our ligaments and tendons are the most familiar of these, but there are many more. Our fascia, for example, which includes ligaments and tendons, connects each part of us with its neighbour and our blood also connects us from the centre to our edges through its network of arteries, veins and capillaries.
The ligaments (connecting bone to bone) and tendons (connecting muscle to bone) influence our joints. If the ligaments and tendons are toned – a comfortable middle way between being tight and slack – they will allow space for the joint to move freely and fluidly. However, if they are too tight, as is often the case, they will bring the bones too closely together and this can lead to joint problems.
In this session we create movements which oil the joints, helping to bring tone, elasticity and space into the joints of the body. These movements also bring blood and nourishment to the joints. We then join all the movements together in the dance of the Seaweed Inner Qigong.
Session 4 – Combining Bones, Flesh and Sinews into one flowing, fully-embodied practice
While it is useful to separate the different aspects of ourselves, ultimately, they all have to relate to and work with each other so that we can be and act in a fully embodied way.
We touch on our core, our skeleton, and experience how the flesh of our muscles fills it out on the outside, and how the internal organs fill it from the inside. We revisit the bottle breathing, connecting the three segments of the torso together through the emptying and filling of the breath in those areas. Then we draw everything together into our centre through all the internal connections.
We return to the foundation of our bones to find a sound that can eventually spread to our whole body, and experiment with offering this sound outwards as we step forwards with the joy of our whole being.