Slide & Glide

Those of you who have taken my classes in the past several months have experienced movement practices on the floor that involve “slide and glide” techniques. My approach to teaching has included a practice that emphasizes the fluid body for some time. In fact the second level of my teacher training  is called “The Fluid Pulse of the Yogi”. Now I feel a stronger pull to guide myself and others in the fluid system—synovial fluid in the joints, cerebral spinal fluid around the brain and nerves, lymph and blood. This involves working with circular patterns in the body, particularly in the joints. It is a celebration of the non-linear.

One important insight that comes to me is how the yoga systems and practices have a strong cultural overlay that include the philosophies of living and behavior that yoga emphasizes. The yoga movements, the asanas, involve a kind of directionality (lines, corners, angles, triangles, tripods etc) that aim to bring the student toward a certain goal, call it unity or center or completion. They presuppose that the path of yoga involves becoming accomplished in the postures and, ultimately, getting somewhere (samadhi, realization) . I find that in working with the fluid system circular movement there is really no end, no goal. Fluid dynamics is about mobility. Not mobility in the sense that it will take you some place else, but mobility for movement’s sake. Movement in this sense is more about expression than accomplishment. The essential thing is that a joint, a band of connective tissues, an organ body or an individual cell have the hydration necessary to express its own potential. Fluid dynamics in the body involves using compressive/decompressive movements that help pump fluid in and out of the body’s structures. In working with fluid flow, we alter the viscosity of the lymph, blood, synovial fluid and this in turn effects the way fluid may flush into or rinse out of any given structure. The bathing of fluids into the muscles, joints or around the nerve endings, is key to the health of the body. The bathing of fluid into a structure allows the tissues to be more responsive. This responsiveness in turn effects how people feel about themselves (light, alert and present) and effects one’s relationship with others in the world.

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