This weekend’s post is inspired by a tangent my “practice brain” went on after Alex Schell (one of our Mind Body Dancer teachers) presented a spine theme this week. Alex encouraged us to remember what the spine looked like inside the body. While cues often are given for length, she reminded us that we must honor the spine’s curves when finding such length, rather than trying to erase them.
This simple theme got me thinking about some more complex applications of the lesson. Part I of my “practice brain” tangent was posted in our last On the Mat segment, Navigating Spine Curves. Here is Part II.
We were all taught in math class that the shortest distance between point A and point B is a straight line. We might observe that our own spines’ journeys from the head to the pelvis are not completely straight but rather, curved.
In fact, you won’t find straight lines anywhere in nature. Under the microscope, organic structures are often curved, spiraled, and irregular. Only man-made creations can emulate straight lines or true angles. There is a certain wisdom in “wildness” that underlies the composite forms we find in our bodies and nature. Energetically speaking, curves and spirals present possibility for new creation or alterations in evolution. Straight lines do not allow for the same breadth of possibility in new forms or species. Visually speaking, curves express dynamic movement, whereas lines can appear more stagnant in space.
Further, if we look at that simple math equation again and take its application from the spine to nature to our own lives, we realize that we rarely move in straight pathways. We might move on our own trajectory forward into time, which we “imagine” to be a straight line, but life pathways are rarely linear. Even when we drive a car somewhere, our route is not necessarily as direct as we consider it to be. We go on detours; we make pit stops; we hug the curves in the road; we climb mountains and rush down hills. So why do we expect our lives, careers, relationships, thoughts, etc. to take an unrealistically straight path?
The holiday season presents a challenge to our less-than-linear lives. We have been programmed to see December as an end and January as a new beginning. As we make our way towards the end of 2012 and onward into the New Year of 2013, why not imagine rounding the turn into the new calendar year with a gentle curve of stability and a sprinkling of ease? Our lesson from the spine can help us navigate our new year with gentleness in mind and maybe even encourage us to embrace the year’s possibility of detours, pit stops, and new adventures…..