Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I'm back from JCFS with a few small skills to use with my body in my weaving. The main thing I learned was about posture while weaving--not just "sit up straight" but rather to think about the three different areas of the spine (cervical, thoracic and lumbar) and how those should function as a unit when bending. The instructor also made it clear that the head should sit on the top of the spine, not dangle in front or back of it.

We also began each day with what she called "constructive rest" -- lying on our backs, with knees bent and feet at hip socket distance apart. She also mentioned another position that she called the "dugout pose"--when sitting, to spread your feet and bend forward from the hip joint, resting arms on thighs--not slumping the spine but bending it as a unit.

She also worked with us to have us feel a lifting up of our spines when standing, again keeping the head at the top of the spine rather than hanging forward.

She said that when we feel we're in a position that's uncomfortable to attend to what's happening, pause, then either change something or take a break. She acknowledges that not everyone can always get on the floor for constructive rest at points but she mentions that almost all could do the dugout pose for a short while!

She also talked about balance of the body--shoulders and hips, for instance. And about the arms, legs, hands and fingers as appendages...they should hang loosely. She discussed "softening" the muscles on the skeleton.

She watched the video I'd made of myself while weaving on the big tapestry and made a few suggestions that I'll try out today. First, she mentioned I should move closer to the tapestry and to keep aware of my spine--not to slump forward to see what I'm doing. She also mentioned to move my awareness around a bit--I do tend to be so focused on the particular few inches that I'm working on that I'm sure my head is locking in place.

And, the most FUN part of the two days was the exercise ball she had in the class! I've never bounced or rolled around on one of those before and it felt just great!! I've got to get one for the studio right away...if anything from the workshop makes a difference for me it may be my getting on a ball a few times every day to loosen myself up from the tensions that build up while weaving!!!

1 comment:

AliceKay said...

Every Friday I hear Leslie, my riding teacher say, "Soften, soften...." This happens when the rider is tensing up and the horse is going faster to try to get away from all the sensory input from the rider. What is amazing is how long it took for me to even believe I could affect a horse that profoundly. Now, if I'm tense (most of the darn time!!!) on a horse, as soon as I soften, the horse immediately comes back under me, relaxes and goes with more control and support. Horses either read human minds, or they read our bodies so well they don't have to read our minds. They will even go slower at the trot if you post slower than they are going.

The thing is, now that I know, I'm even more sorry if I can't support with my balance what the horse needs in order to go well. The children just get it, and the adults just struggle if they did not get to ride as children. And I am at the bottom, still trying to learn how to support the cantering horse in the ring. But the attitude at the stable is so positive, and the horses so mysterious, that I keep trying.

Wow- I'm like a shook-up bottle of soda and the cap just came off. What were people putting in soda for awhile- Mentos? John kept wanting to try it. Of course he also likes to blow up Easter Peeps in the microwave.