Chapter 7 :: Losing Your Head Scroll Down >>>
The purpose of the seventh section is to release and lengthen the top of the core, to align the head over the torso, and to release tension in the head, face, and neck.
The theme of this section is "Losing Your Head." By that we mean releasing excessive attention to the analytic, mental, and inward processes that apparently occur in the head. Our culture tends to emphasize these processes at the expense of body awareness, with the result that many people experience their body as only a vehicle to transport the all important head. The mind and the ability to think are certainly great assets. It is only when we use our rational processes to the exclusion of our other capacities that we become limited in our feeling and intuition. Do you like to have rational answers for everything? How do you balance using your feelings and thought processes to guide you in life? This session returns you to a more balanced relationship between head and body, and between reason and feeling.
Anatomy and Structure
Anatomically, the focus of this section is the top of the core: the head, neck, and face. In the illustration above-right, the muscles of the face are shown from the skeletal side. These muscles enable us to form different expressions. If expression becomes limited, the musculature of the face ceases to be fluid and the face begins to look like a mask.
Have you seen people wearing these masks? In this section we work to restore symmetry and freedom of expression to the face.
Structurally, the purpose of this section is to restore verticality to the neck, and freedom of movement to the head and jaw. In the unaligned body, the neck commonly leans forward, the head tilts backward, the muscles of the neck become filled with tension (shown in the illustration below, figure A), and both the head and neck can no longer move freely. In a balanced body, the neck is a vertical pillar sitting on top of the horizontal surface of the shoulder girdle. The head rests on the top of the neck, without needing constant tension in the back of the neck to hold it on. This balanced position, shown in figure B, allows effortless motion of the head and the jaw.
In movement, our goal is for you to be able to lengthen the top of your core as you move, particularly in bending. We also want your head to be relaxed and balanced on top of your neck and able to move freely and easily. Finally, we want to integrate your head with the rest of your body.
Movement Lesson :: Release Head While Bending
While bending over to pick up something from the floor, notice how you hold your head. Do you hold your head up by putting tension in the back of your neck as in the illustration at left, figure A?
Now, reach over again and let go of your head, releasing all tension in your neck as shown in figure B. You don't need to see the object you're picking up - your mind's eye will remember where it is. How does this feel? There is no need to add tension to your neck every time you pick something up.
Movement Lesson :: Release Head While Walking, Standing, and Sitting
Walk and feel the way you normally hold your head. Notice any tension or holding in the muscles of your neck, and any sense of rigidity. Does your head feel free?
Now, imagine that your neck is a spring and your head is bobbing on this spring, like the china doll shown here. Walk, allowing your head to move freely. How does this feel? Continue to feel freedom and Iooseness in your neck as you become still, both in standing and sitting. How does this feel?
Notice the times when you "go into your head" - when you become very involved with thinking and figuring things out. At those times, relax the muscles of the head, face, and neck, and feel into your whole body. Breathe. Notice what happens. There is more to life than thinking about it.