Friday, February 15, 2013

Developing Coordination for a united body

It is important to understand that the coordination we are interested in is the one of a total union for a global movement. To do this, we will dissociate all the parts of the body to be able to unite them later. In this dissection of the movements and possibilities of the body, we will split our work in five steps:

- Dissociation of the joints joints
- Isolation of the muscle work
- Identification of the muscular chains
- Strengthening of the core muscles
-  Proprioception work

Strength work, coordination work or complex movements have no meaning without a general relaxation of the structure. For this coherent ensemble to be relaxed it must be "rooted". We will look primarily for a postural alignment to find this structure. The alignment of this structure will settle us down on earth and enable us to find our center. In this condition we can go in a more specific search. Without this structure, it will be difficult to do anything.

Upper limbs have several joints that each have their own functions. If each segment is used for its function, everything will go just fine. But often, for a given action, we use too much force because of tension and the lack of understanding of our structure. It may also happen that due to an imbalance or weakness, we compensate with muscles that should remain resting at this moment. This is the magic of the adaptability of our body but also a source of physical and emotional tension. To understand through the feeling and experience "who does what" in our body, we will separate each part to recognize the important work done by each segment. This is a fun step, although sometimes depressing, where we discover the limits of our sensations and the stiffness and weakness of our body.

For the limbs it happens without too many problems but everything changes when we go to the discovery of our spine which is actually mobile ... Yes, your back has an incredible mobility that can do many more things that you can imagine. I will cite for example, the ability to move each vertebral segment and the ability to emit a "wave" of the sacrum upward.

These exercises enable a relaxation by a more intimate relationship with your body.

When we have experimented the different moving parts of our body, it is time to see what muscles are doing a traction or expansion and contraction work for our daily movements. Again, a force we often misuse fatigue us without reason. Through identification exercises by muscle movements in common movements, we identify what should be used and what is useless. Through this direct personal experience we understand the body, under the direction of a teacher. The feeling of having more energy that then manifests itself is not that of a strength gain. In fact, at this stage, we spend less energy in wasted effort, so we're less tired.

For a given movement, we know at this stage what segment is used and what muscles are involved. If we move on to more complex gestures, moving in space, we see something very important: all movements can be improved in an overall synergy. Every movement, well understood and in an attentive relaxation, can be improved by the union of all the segments that can help this action. These muscle chains in given directions will transform a local action in a united action. In Chinese medicine, we know these lines, we call them the "muscle tendon meridians" . These lines of force are linked to unite the whole body. There are lines of force for all the movements of the six directions of space and their use greatly potentiates our actions. This is a first step in the union of the body in movement.

When the body acts, less "obvious" muscles are at work. These are the muscles that can not be controlled without deep listening to our body mechanics. Their study and conscious implementation is more complex. Often among the most powerful in the body, these muscles are buried at the heart of our structure and are a source of great power. Specific exercises will awaken the potential for a deeper union of the whole gesture.

The union of the body will have a feasibility only if it can exist in a stable movement. For this movement, we must know where we are and where we are going, it is necessary to identify one's center. Proprioception enables us to  locate ourselves in space by the kinesthetic sensation. If it is possible to know where we are through sensation, learning to situate ourselves at every moment, freedom of movement is possible. The body will exponentially amplify its effectiveness in a united movement with gesture. If the move is tense, unstable or opposite to the gesture, no union is possible.

Coordination for a united movement necessitates a specific practices but can take various forms. Any approach is correct if it leads to this union and if it does not require athletic accomplishment that limit the result to a fleeting youth.