Have you ever wanted to move or position your body in a certain way, but thought, nah, this can’t be the RIGHT way to do it. I should be sitting/walking/sleeping/dancing/doing yoga/meditating/exercising like THIS! Think sucking in your stomach, rigid military posture, gripping your butt muscles, long bouts of seated, still meditation…
More likely, there was no thought per se, but an intuitive inclination. Just like our “bad” habits, the things we try to accomplish with our bodies “for our own good” or to please others are often done on autopilot (see examples above). It’s rare we challenge the status quo until a) we experience pain or illness, or b) someone or something points it out or offers a different way of doing things. I remember how awed I felt when a workshop leader of mine gave the class permission to meditate in any position we wanted (seated, reclining, curled in a ball, shifting positions, moving, etc.). I felt like I was livin’ on the edge the first time I switched things up, and for the first time, meditation felt GOOD.
Allow me to further illustrate with a bodywork-in-action story:
I was working with a client the other day, treating her shoulder (which had a history of frozen shoulder) to some gentle and yummy Ortho-Bionomy (OB). Following OB principles, I started gently moving her shoulder around and asked her what position felt good; where did she feel some sense of release, relaxation, or no pain. Her response was so perfect.
“This (having my shoulder way up towards my ear) feels good. I mean, I know it’s not right, but that’s what my body wants to do.”
My response made her chuckle. As I proceeded to help her accentuate that shoulder-to-ear movement, I told her that I wasn’t interested in right or wrong or how things SHOULD be, only in what felt good and promoted a sense of safety and ease. “Oh! I never thought about it that way,” she replied.
With a little more work, her shoulder began to release and open up and after the session, she explained that she felt her arm wanted to helicopter about with the increased range of motion and ease it felt. Hooray!
I could go in a much lengthier and more technical description of what Ortho-Bionomy is and how it works, but this story does such a nice job of summarizing things. OB does not care about SHOULDS or RIGHT/WRONG. It cares about meeting you exactly where you are and honoring that, whatever that looks like. It cares about what feels good and peaceful and safe so that your ever-so-wise body can self-correct and come in to balance on its own time and in its own way.
In a hyper-speedy world that has countless voices telling us what we should be doing with our body and how we should feel about it at any given time, practicing OB often feels like a form of rebellion against all that.
Are you a little bit of a rebel like James and I? ; )
With OB love + a rebel yell,
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