Friday, June 27, 2008

Patricia Sullivan Day 1

I love Patricia Sullivan. Completely.
I love how geeky and specific she gets but in a way that opens us to the mystery within each of us. She makes sure that we understand the rules and concepts and then sets us free to play.

We began in a circle chanting vowel sounds.
Sweet and open and relaxed.

Then, using a spine and pelvis model, she gave a lecture on the movements of the sacrum and the pelvis and the interrelationship.

The most profound moment for me here was the realization of the connection between the words sacred and sacrum. Patricia was very profound. I found this online tonight:

Established patriarchal religions have defined sacred as being separate from nature. It is no coincidence that the word sacred is related to the sacral region of anatomy; the sacrum the triangular bone at the base of the spine. The Greeks called it the "hieron osteon", "hieron" not only means sacred but also "temple." It is a temple in the sense that the sacrum creates the dorsal wall of the pelvis. In the female the sacrum protects the ovaries and uterus, the organs of creation. The Romans called the bone the "os sacrum," which literally meant the "holy bone". "Sacrum" relates to the Latin word "sacer" meaning "sacred", or "sacra" meaning "holy, consecrated". The sacrum is the last bone in the body to decompose therefore it was believed that someone could be reassembled in the afterlife from its remains. The sacrum consists of five separate vertebrae that fuse together between ages 18 and 30, to become one bone. The last sacral vertebra sits just above the coccyx, which in many animal species is the beginning of the tail.
The sacrum is also known as the vertebra magna. The closely related words of "magma", referring to molten rock within the earth, and "magnus", meaning great, can be of interest, especially when thinking about "from dust you came, to dust you shall return." We can obviously summarize that the sacrum is an important "root", a seat of special power that stems back to stories of origin.

After the lecture, we started with a Cat/Cow on the forearms. She guided us to play with the squeezing of the thighs towards each other and apart to play with the relationship in the hips and the pelvis. Then we also played with the drawing in and widening of the arm bones to change the relationship of the shoulder blades in the posture.

We came to downward facing dog and played with the same actions and added the "twist".

Slow deliberate Child's Pose (the delay of the inevitable).

Seated Dandasana with easy Twisting Action to understand leg and Sacrum Connection.

Twisting from Uttanasana we explored the drawing back of the sacrum and the drawing "forward" or "lengthening" or "backbending" of the other side.

We then explored Standing Sidebending with the Xhandor Style Arms.

Squat Play. The delay, the creation of resistance to create more space.

Easy slow repeatable movements to start to get a relationship with how we are put together before moving towards more complicated postures. And as is always revealed, different actions are required for each body which is why the internal understanding is so critical.

We played with the actions in Warrior 2, Triangle, Parsvottansana and Twisting Triangle, Warrior 1 and Revolved Side Angle Pose.

It was super fun to watch Patricia work and tune each posture and understanding.

In Warrior 2 and Triangle we geeked out on using the drawing back of the sacrum on the back leg to create the lift and space.

In Pyramid and Twisting Triangle, the drawing of the back sit bone down to ground and give the sacrum leverage to open and twist up.

We did Warrior 1 like dancers, playing with keeping the back knee bent to allow the front curve to be more fluid like water. Then we used a side bend to move from Warrior 1 to Revolved Side Angle Pose.

Upavishta Konasana Play

Revolving Head to Knee Pose

Janu Sirsasana (This was my favorite. The drawing up and back of the sacrum on the extended leg side, combined with allowing that hip to externally rotate a bit by allowing the front foot to drop open was so sweet. The backbend on the side of the bend knee was kept soft with a little extra navel action and so there was barely any need to fold forward cuz there was so much cool geeky stuff happening in the pelvis.)

Bridge Pose x 2 with emphasis on keeping ribs soft and "knit" until very last moment.



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