Our word of the month for October is SPACE which is a continuation from September of The Dailey Method Secondary Alignment Principles: Stability, Space, Support and Smile!
As we Align/Engage/Move (our primary alignment principles) we can get even deeper by putting intention on the “4S’s” mentioned above. In September we practiced STABILITY, focusing on foundation, grounding, arriving, noticing, connecting with breath, and feeling/finding stability within. Keeping the supportive foundation and practice of STABILITY, we can expand our focus to making SPACE.
Truth: “SPACE” is a step many of us skip (in TDM practice, and in life) because we’re impatient, controlling, distracted, rushing… or just eager, excited and ready to GO NOW! In class you may want to get right into your strongest plank, thigh-work and seat-work. In life, we often plow forward to fit it all in, rarely pausing between one thing and the next. SPACE is about noticing these tendencies, and making choices to open up to a deeper experience. Space is exactly what we need to get that AMAZING class/life we are constantly striving for. If we remember to pause and take a breath, make space… guess what? Plank, thigh-work and seat-work are deeper and stronger and feel way better! And the same can go for the larger arena of our lives.
Here are some ways to start creating more SPACE for yourself right now:
NOTICE. Every time you arrive in your practice, take a few seconds to just notice your body (sensations), your mind (thoughts, your brain-machine never stops generating), and your heart (emotions that are present right now). Fully arrive and begin your practice with intention. As soon as we NOTICE sensations, thoughts and emotions, we can separate from them. If we can observe them, we are not them and we don’t need to be controlled by them. Notice. Observe yourself.
SOFTEN. What??? Not the word you think of first in an exercise class, right? Try it. When you’re coming into thigh-work, soften first, notice your stability and then breathe. This softening not only centers your body and mind, it also immediately opens up SPACE, and sets the stage for better alignment and a deeper experience. When you soften and breathe, you find better foundation, your collar bones widen, your heart opens, your lungs expand, your energy flows, and your senses heighten. It allows the bones of your body to more properly align naturally, without you forcing it. Softening allows you to invite, receive, respond, center, connect, expand and be open to possibility.
INHALE. One of the best ways to make more space is to take a deep breath. See if you can refine your breathing practice this month, noticing what happens every time you breathe in. Use your inhalation to find space and length from your heels through the crown of your head. Inhale to expand your heart and lungs! Feel stuck in an exercise? Feel stuck in life? Take a deep breath and inhale.
FOCUS. With focus and attention we can create space in our bodies. Here are some things for you to practice in class and cues you will hear from your Teachers to help you find more space:
- Move your inner thighs in, back and apart to widen your sitz bones- this will create space in your SI joint.
- Broaden and laterally expand your legs and pelvis apart- this allows the thigh bones to stabilize deeper in the pelvis and better align your knee joint.
- Practice breathing more space and length into all four sides of your body (side body long) from your hip-bone to bottom rib. Making more SPACE in your torso on all sides will enable you to get deeper in abdominal work and allow for greater length and range of motion for your spinal cord.
- Draw your arm bones slightly upward and widen your collarbones- this will allow optimal shoulder alignment and greater range of motion for your shoulder girdle.
- Feel better cervical alignment by lifting your jaw line parallel to the floor and allowing your throat and back of skull to ease back, bringing your ears over your shoulders into your plumb-line- creating a healthy cervical spine curvature.
- Notice how the small expanding adjustments impact the way you feel in your positions. All of these actions work to help you place the bones in better alignment and should add EASE to your body prior to the deep muscular engagement that will come next with SUPPORT.
ACCEPT & ALLOW. A big part of making SPACE is accepting and allowing. Showing up for your practice every day also means noticing, accepting and loving your body every day exactly where it is. Accept ebbs and flows, in practice and in life. Allow for setbacks. Make your TDM practice a physical, mental and emotional SPACE that is supportive, centering, positive, honoring, and empowering. Accept. Allow. Then MAKE SPACE in every way you can so you are also ready to expand, evolve and transform. That’s a life practice, and one that never ends!
We are holding a BIG supportive space for all of you, and for this amazing extended TDM family.
-- Jill & Lorna